Officials identify Palmdale teen killed when SUV crashes into bedroom

The Los Angeles County coroner has identified a Palmdale teen who authorities said was killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into her home and hit her while she slept.

Giselle Mendoza, 16, was pronounced dead at her home early Sunday after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies said Roberto Rodriguez, 20, crashed his SUV into a Palmdale apartment building.

Mendoza was sleeping in her first-floor bedroom when a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder slammed into the complex in the 1000 block of East Avenue R before 4 a.m. Sunday, officials said.

A sheriff’s deputy driving through the area noticed the SUV and tried to help pull pieces of the wall away from the vehicle but was unable to, officials said. Los Angeles firefighters managed to get into the room and found Mendoza’s body, said said.


Rodriguez was detained by residents until deputies arrived and was initially taken to a hospital for minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

He was later booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

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