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Five die in Los Angeles-area traffic accidents

A fiery crash on the 110 Freeway and several other traffic accidents have claimed the lives of five people on Los Angeles County streets and highways so far over the Labor Day weekend, authorities said.

In the 110 Freeway accident, a man died early Sunday when he was trapped under a flaming 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo that was struck after it had stopped on the shoulder of the southbound lanes near 52nd Street.

The 18-year-old driver of a 2008 Smart car apparently swerved to avoid rear-ending a vehicle directly ahead, hitting the Monte Carlo. Both vehicles burst into flames.

The Monte Carlo rolled over, fatally injuring one of three men who had been standing near it, the California Highway Patrol reported. One of the other men was in critical condition, and the third suffered lesser injuries.

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The driver of the Smart car sustained scrapes and was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and driving under the influence, the CHP said. Names of the suspect and victims were not released.

About 11 p.m. Saturday, a pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old male overturned on the northbound lanes of the 710 Freeway near the 91 Freeway, killing a female passenger and injuring three others. No names were released.

A 23-year-old man driving a Honda Accord died about 11 p.m. Saturday when his vehicle left the 105 Freeway at a high rate of speed and hit a power pole and tree on Somerset Ranch Road near Paramount Boulevard in South Gate. A female passenger was in stable condition at a hospital with minor injuries. No names were released.

A 43-year-old Irvine man was killed while trying to cross the eastbound lanes of the 101 Freeway on foot after crashing his car in the westbound lanes near Laurel Canyon Boulevard about 9:40 p.m. Saturday, officials said. The man’s black Lexus had apparently drifted, striking a guardrail and coming to rest in the left lane, the CHP reported. The victim left the car and was attempting to cross the eastbound lanes when he was struck bya BMW driven by a 76-year-old Encino man, who was unhurt. Names were not released.

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A motorcyclist was killed about 2:30 p.m. Sunday in a crash on Topanga Canyon Boulevard near the Pacific Coast Highway, the CHP reported.

Last year, only one traffic-related fatality was reported in Los Angeles County during the first 36 hours of Labor Day weekend, according to the CHP. Elsewhere in the state, the CHP reported six fatalities as of Sunday afternoon, compared with eight last year.

In L.A. County, 227 people have been arrested so far this weekend on suspicion of drunk driving, up from 209 last year, while statewide the CHP has arrested 1,008 motorists on that charge, compared with 990 last year.

Traffic-related incidents so far this weekend are also higher than for the Fourth of July and Memorial Day weekends this year, authorities said.

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“There was a somewhat downward trend, and we were hopeful that would still be the case because people had gotten the message about safe driving,” said CHP Officer Ming Hsu. “Unfortunately, the numbers we have for this period are spiking.”

carla.rivera@latimes.com


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