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Local News in Brief : Driver Arrested After Fatal Freeway Wreck

November 12, 1986

A Van Nuys man was arrested on suspicion of felony manslaughter Monday night after his car spun out of control on the Golden State Freeway in Sun Valley, causing a crash that killed one woman and critically injured another, the California Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

The man, Gilbert Gutierrez, 31, was driving north on the freeway just south of Lankershim Boulevard at 11:55 p.m. when his car veered, hit the center divider and stopped in the fast lane, facing traffic, Officer Lujanna Lopez said.

A car driven by Bette Beardsley, 59, of Mission Hills struck Gutierrez's car, injuring Beardsely and killing her passenger, Rufina Villegas, 60, of San Fernando, Lopez said.

Beardsley was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, where she was in critical condition with multiple fractures and bruises, a hospital spokesman said.

Gutierrez, who got out of the car before it was struck, was uninjured. Investigators believe that he had been drinking, Lopez said.

Gutierrez was released from Van Nuys Jail Tuesday afternoon on $25,000 bail, Los Angeles police said.

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