Traffic deaths in Los Angeles County over the Christmas weekend decreased sharply this year, with only two fatalities compared to nine in 1986, authorities said.
Drunk driving arrests were also far lower, although the decline was due in part to the fact that the holiday weekend was one day shorter than in 1986. In the city of Los Angeles, 125 drunk driving arrests were made this year, contrasted with 208 last year, police said.
There were an additional 298 arrests for driving under the influence in areas under California Highway Patrol jurisdiction this year, down from 466 last year.
The two fatalities this year occurred within the Los Angeles city limits. On Christmas morning, Ruperto Luna was killed and his wife and three children injured when Manuel Tenorio Nino, 22, of Los Angeles allegedly ran a red light and plowed into Luna's car at Avalon Boulevard and 41st Street. Nino was booked on suspicion of manslaughter, authorities said.
No charges were brought in the death of Michael Lopez, 16, who was struck by a car when he darted out from behind a parked car on Woodman Avenue at Vanowen Street in Van Nuys on Christmas night.