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Man Faces Manslaughter Charge in Crash

A Mission Hills man who was driving with a suspended license from a previous drunk driving arrest was booked on suspicion of manslaughter after his vehicle crashed into another car, killing a 42-year-old Sylmar man, police said Sunday.

Steven Lopez, 33, of Mission Hills was arrested and booked into the Van Nuys Jail on Saturday after failing a sobriety test at the scene of the accident.

According to police reports, Lopez was traveling northbound on Woodman Avenue about 6:15 p.m. Saturday and allegedly failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection of San Jose Street. Police said his vehicle slammed into a car that was being driven westbound on San Jose by John Pasillas, 42, of Sylmar, who died on impact. A passenger who was in his car is in stable condition at Holy Cross Medical Center, police said.

A witness saw Lopez’s pickup truck speeding toward the intersection before the accident, according to police. Police said Lopez failed a field sobriety test and a sample of his blood was taken for analysis. Police said they also found beer in his car.

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According to police reports, Lopez was uncooperative when police tried to arrest him.

“He was combative at the scene,” said Officer Frank Zdroy of the Valley Traffic Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. “He didn’t want to get handcuffed.”


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