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Storm Is Blamed for 4 Deaths : Accidents: North county fatalities add to the havoc on rain-slick streets and freeways. A new front is forecast for midweek.

March 06, 1995|JEANNETTE DeSANTIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A strong weekend storm that dumped up to 2 1/2 inches of rain in some spots was blamed for a spate of fatal accidents that left at least four people dead in northern Los Angeles County.

Countless other smashups wreaked havoc on rain-slick streets and freeways as forecasters warned residents to brace for more nasty weather.

Scattered showers are expected to continue today and Tuesday before a new storm arrives Wednesday. That storm, carrying more heavy rain, is expected to remain until the weekend, according to meteorologist Curtis Brack of WeatherData, which provides forecasts to The Times.

A motorist was killed and his passenger injured early Sunday in North Hills after he sped through a red light at Parthenia Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue and was hit by another car, Los Angeles police said.

The unidentified 25-year-old driver--who investigators suspect was under the influence of alcohol--died in the intersection at 2:35 a.m., police said. His passenger, Yolanda Chavez, 35, of North Hollywood said the couple had just left a bar before the accident, according to Sgt. K. Davis.

Chavez suffered a broken pelvis and was admitted to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The 23-year-old driver of the other car, Robert Rogers, was not seriously injured, Davis said.

Hours earlier in Santa Clarita, a 58-year-old Canyon Country man was killed and his 52-year-old wife was hospitalized after their car was struck head-on about 8:30 p.m. by a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old girl, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The teen-ager lost control of her car, crossed the center divider and hit the couple's Toyota Camry at Oak Avenue and Soledad Canyon Road. The girl, whose name was not released, and the three teen-aged passengers were treated at local hospitals and released, Sgt. Barry Sandstrom said.

The accident is under investigation, he said.

In another crash Saturday night on the Simi Valley Freeway in Chatsworth, two people were killed and two others seriously injured when a westbound truck crossed the center divider near De Soto Avenue and was broadsided by an oncoming car in the eastbound lanes.

Cynthia A. Shuman, 41, of Simi Valley and Francisco Felix, 70, of Simi Valley died in the 8 p.m. accident. Both were passengers in a car driven by Patrick Shuman, 48, California Highway Patrol Officer Garry Goldenberg said.

Shuman was in critical condition at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Goldenberg said.

The truck, driven by 32-year-old Cesar Salas of Lancaster, was smashed underneath the car and Salas was barely visible when rescuers arrived, Goldenberg said. He was in serious condition at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

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