A 16-year-old girl was killed early Sunday morning after a suspected drunken driver drove his vehicle into her home, an apartment, in Palmdale, California, authorities said.
CBS Los Angeles reported that a deputy patrolling the area spotted a minivan inside of the apartment and reported it around 4 am Sunday morning.
Additional deputies responded to the scene and were alerted by other residents that a female resident was possibly inside the bedroom where the vehicle had come to a stop.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the location and entered the apartment, where they found a 16-year-old girl who had been fatally injured, according to authorities and as cited in KTLA.
“The vehicle was embedded into the building and went into the bedroom of a 16-year-old girl who has passed away as a result of injuries from the accident as far as we can tell,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lieutenant. Ken Wright told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz.
Friends told reporters for CBS News that the victim was a student at Palmdale High School, however her identity has not been released.
“She was my little sister. I just hope people who drink and drive… I mean… they are just causing pain for many families,” said the victim’s sister, Yadira Mendoza said.
Deputies identified the driver of the 2007 Pathfinder that plowed in the home as Roberto Rodriguez, 20, of Palmdale, who was detained by citizens until the Sheriff arrived.
A witness’ cellphone video showed the suspect being escorted away from the SUV and placed in the backseat of a patrol vehicle.
“He has been taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries and will be booked for vehicular manslaughter,” Lieutenant Wright said. “Preliminary investigation indicates he was under the influence of alcohol.”
According to the 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 people a day or one person every 51 minutes, die as a result of drunk driving.
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