1 Dead, Four Hurt in Crash
A parolee with a suspended driver’s license slammed into a car carrying four teenagers early Saturday morning in La Puente, killing one and seriously injuring the others, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies said.
The driver, identified as Isaias Casillas, 30, of La Puente, fled the scene of the high-speed collision at Willow and Temple avenues but was found and arrested about an hour after the 2:40 a.m. crash, deputies said. He was in serious condition in the jail ward at County-USC Medical Center on Saturday night.
The names of the victims, who were returning in a Honda Civic from a soccer game, were not released Saturday. One, a 14-year-old girl, died at Queen of the Valley Hospital about 4:30 a.m. A 14-year-old boy was in serious condition at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Baldwin Park.
The other victims, both 17-year-old boys, were in critical condition at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital but were expected to survive, said Lt. Mike Pippin, watch commander of the Industry Sheriff’s Station.
Pippin said a deputy on patrol in a residential area spotted the suspect’s vehicle traveling about 100 mph in a 35 mph zone. The driver made a series of turns and was going so fast that the deputy was unable to launch a pursuit, so he notified other deputies by radio and headed in the direction he had last seen the vehicle take, authorities said.
Several patrol units in the area began searching and came upon the collision. One deputy said the suspect’s vehicle hit the teenagers’ car so hard that it catapulted 50 feet, careened over a block wall and came to rest on the porch of a house.
Pippin said the suspect fled on foot, leaving a trail of blood from severe facial injuries. The man tried to hide by breaking into cars and at least two homes. He broke a window to get inside one house, then left and crawled into bushes across the street, where deputies found him.
Casillas’ driver’s license had been suspended for a driving-under-the-influence violation, Pippin said. He described Casillas as a parolee with an “extensive record” going back at least 10 years.
Casillas reportedly told deputies at the scene that he panicked when he saw a patrol car because he believed there was a warrant out for his arrest. He was undergoing blood tests for possible intoxication, but the results were not available Saturday, Pippin said.
Times staff writer Jean Merl contributed to this report.