An innocent teenager was killed after a suspect ran a red light while fleeing from the police in Northridge.
WHY WAS THE TEENAGER KILLED?
On February 16, a student from California State Northridge was killed at the age of 19. Around 12:30 a.m. two armed robbery suspects were seen fleeing police in an SUV near White Oak Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard. They ran a red light and crashed into the student’s vehicle. Tragically, the impact was fatal for the student and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers were attempting to stop the suspects’ Toyota RAV4 in Northridge. This car carried the two men who were wanted for armed robbery in another part of the San Fernando Valley.
The driver of the Toyota sped away from the police. Officers briefly chased them for almost one mile until the Toyota ran a red light at Roscoe and Lindley Avenue.
The Toyota collided into the side of a dark green Honda Civic. This hit killed the driver of the Honda.
WHO WAS THE VICTIM OF THE POLICE PURSUIT CRASH?
According to KTLA, the victim in the Honda was identified as 19-year-old Erick Barbosa-Guardado from Reseda. In fact, he was studying civil engineering as a sophomore at Cal State Northridge.
Erick also worked in Tarzana at a TJ Maxx store. He was on his way home from work when he was hit by the suspects.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SUSPECTS AFTER THE AUTO ACCIDENT?
Immediately after the collision occurred, both suspects in the Toyota ran away from the scene. As a result, the police set up a perimeter and were able to take the driver into custody. However, the other suspect in the Toyota was able to escape on foot.
At a news briefing, the Los Angeles Police Department attempted to explain why the officers initiated the pursuit of the suspects.
Lieutenant Letisia Ruiz said, “Part of our job is to try to apprehend [suspects] and make communities safer, and this is part of that…We do try to balance the risk versus the gain. In this instance, it is unfortunate the suspects failed to stop.” She continued, “We do understand that these types of pursuits can lead to dangerous situations.
Police said that it is very likely that the driver of the Toyota will be booked on a murder charge. Furthermore, a loaded rifle was found in the Toyota.
MOURNING THE LOSS OF THE TEENAGE VICTIM
The friends and family of the victim are devastated and mourning the loss of the teenager’s life.
Erick’s aunt, Socorro Barbossa spoke to KTLA revealing, “I feel so mad. So mad because it’s not right this happened with my nephew…Please do something. He was a really good boy. I think they [police] have to be very careful with people around.”
Near the roadside where the teenage victim lost his life, a small memorial has been created in his honor. Family members left flowers on the memorial later in the morning.
According to ABC, Erick was a brother to his 5-year-old sister.
Wrongful death accidents like these should never happen and it is a true tragedy when one does occur. Our hearts go out to the victim’s friends and family.
If you have any questions regarding a wrongful death case, you should contact a Personal Injury Attorney immediately.