Man accused of murdering girlfriend, trying to kill children in 101 Freeway crash

A mangled SUV is examined by firefighters
First responders work at the scene of a crash on the 101 Freeway in Encino after a driver drove his SUV the wrong way, killing his girlfriend and injuring their four children.

A 31-year-old man faces multiple felony charges after authorities say he killed his girlfriend and tried to kill their four children when he crashed his SUV into oncoming traffic on the 101 Freeway last week.

Cesar Iban Torres faces one count of murder and four counts each of attempted murder and child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He also faces one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

The crash was reported at 7:02 p.m. Thursday on the 101 Freeway near Haskell Avenue.

Investigators determined Torres was at the wheel of an SUV that crossed into traffic and struck a tractor-trailer, the district attorney’s office said.


Torres’ 26-year-old girlfriend, Aimee Garcia, died. Their four children, ages 1 to 7, suffered moderate injuries.

“A family has been torn apart by this tragic collision that leaves four young children without their mother,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said.

An online fundraiser for Garcia had raised nearly $25,000 of its $30,000 goal as of Monday evening.

Torres is expected to be arraigned Tuesday at Los Angeles County Superior Court in Van Nuys.

The California Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into the crash.