Drive-By Shooting Causes Chain Reaction Crash, 1 Dead - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Drive-By Causes Chain Reaction Crash, 1 Dead

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) Police searched today for the hit-and-run driver of a car that was involved in one of two simultaneous crashes in South Los Angeles, where a 39-year-old man was killed, three other people were injured and eight vehicles were damaged, authorities said.

Police were also investigating the possibility that one of the vehicles involved in the collisions was involved in a drive-by shooting in the same area minutes earlier.

The two crashes occurred at the intersection of Manchester Avenue and Broadway about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said. "There were two separate accidents that took place almost
simultaneously at the same intersection,'' LAPD Sgt. Ruben Vega, the watch commander at the Los Angeles Police Department's South Traffic Division, which was handling the investigations, told City News Service. "One accident involved a black Dodge Charger on Broadway that collided with a pickup truck that was heading westbound on Manchester,'' Vega said. "A
second accident happened almost at the same time. ...That crash involved a silver Pontiac that was heading southbound on Broadway which collided with a Saturn that was going eastbound on Manchester.''

The driver of the Saturn, identified this morning by the coroner's office as Jose Cuevas of Downey, was killed. The motorist who fled and was being sought was the driver of the Pontiac, Vega said "We don't know who he is,'' he said. "We know who the registered owner
of the Pontiac is, but we don't know if the owner was driving the car at the time of the accident. Plus, there were passengers in some of the vehicles who fled the scene on foot, but we don't know how many people that was.''

The driver of the Charger was hospitalized, Vega said. A non injury drive-by shooting took place a couple of streets away and a few minutes before the accidents. Vega said police did not immediately determine if one of the vehicles involved had a role in the shooting.

The shooting occurred at 79th and South Hoover streets around 7:50 p.m., said Lt. Chris Ramirez, a watch commander at the LAPD's 77th Street Station. "We don't know if it's related to the fatal crash,'' Ramirez said early today. "No one was hit in the shooting, and so far, we have no description of the car or the shooter.''

One man died at the scene of the multi-vehicle collisions; three others were taken to hospitals, and one person declined transport, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fatal collision took place outside 261 W. Manchester Ave., he said.

Anyone with information on the crashes or the whereabouts of the hit-and-run driver was urged to call LAPD's South Traffic Division at (323) 421-2577.

From Hal Eisner:

Despite a lot of moving parts the headline is simple enough. Rival gang battle leads to a man killed, others injured and cars trashed! But, explaining is much more complex. Sgt. McGee at 77th Division tells me it was just before 8pm last night when gang members in a silver Pontiac fired shots at rival gang members at a carwash-fundraiser at 79th and Hoover. Those gang members jumped into a black Dodge and chased the Pontiac. McGee says the rival gang members kept firing at each other car to car! When they get to Manchester and Broadway both cars blow thru a red light.

Those two cars hit two cars, that hit other cars and a bicycle. The driver of a Saturday is killed. The car burst into flames. When the chaos clears 8 cars and 1 bike are trashed -- mostly broad sided. Two of the cars were parked. 3 people are hospitalized. A passenger in the Pontiac was found shot in the back. The hit and run driver in the Pontiac flees on foot. Lots of police trying to figure it all out!

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