Man arrested for alleged role in fatal Shadow Hills crash

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder for his alleged role in a fatal traffic crash early Friday in Shadow Hills, police said.

Luis Tapia of Sunland is suspected of contributing to the death of a woman on Sunland Boulevard near La Canada Way at about 12:20 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department said.


A 2010 black Nissan 370z was speeding eastbound at the time on Sunland Boulevard when a second car, driven by Claudia Perez, 38, of Sun Valley, crashed into a telephone pole.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said firefighters used cutting and prying tools to extricate Perez from the car but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perez, who was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office, was the only person in the car.

KTLA-5 reported that prior to the crash, Tapia and the woman were believed to have left a bar before speeding east on Sunland.

LAPD Valley Traffic Division Det. Bill Bustos told the station that investigators were trying to determine if Tapia was following Perez or if they were racing.

Tapia was booked into the Van Nuys Jail and held on $1-million bail. Detectives are still looking for additional witnesses to the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD Officer Brandon Tepper at (818) 644-8036 or (818) 644-8020.

During non-business hours or weekends, calls should be directed to (818) LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS ([800] 222-8477).

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