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Man Sentenced to Prison Over 3 Accident Deaths

July 13, 1989

A Hollywood man found guilty last month of manslaughter for killing three people when his speeding car crashed into theirs was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years and eight months in prison.

Aram Barsumyan, 30, a Soviet Armenian emigre, was convicted of three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and four other felony charges in connection with a Dec. 19, 1987, crash on Los Feliz Boulevard.

Police say Barsumyan's car was speeding when he lost control of the vehicle going over a drainage ditch, swerved into the westbound lane and crashed head-on into a car carrying a family on a holiday shopping trip.

Killed in the crash were Francisco Cruz, 42, of Azusa; his wife, Olga Yolanda Cruz, 31, and Olga's sister, Maria Hernandez, 33, of Los Angeles. The Cruzes' two children were injured in the crash.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict on second-degree murder charges filed against Barsumyan.

The sentence handed down by Pasadena Superior Court Judge Jack B. Tso is only four months short of the maximum 17 years in prison Barsumyan could have received on the charges.

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