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News in Brief: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Palmdale

Crash Victim Transferred to Loma Linda Hospital

July 07, 1998

A 9-year-old girl who was trapped underwater for more than 20 minutes Saturday after her mother's car plunged into the California Aqueduct was moved to a hospital close to her home Monday and listed in very critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Shanika Lister of Rialto was moved from Antelope Valley Hospital to Loma Linda University Medical Center on Monday, said Zarina Baqai, a hospital spokeswoman.

Shanika was a passenger in a car driven by her mother, Vicki Lister, who swerved to avoid a vehicle heading in the wrong direction toward them on Pearblossom Highway near Palmdale. Their car crashed through a fence, turned upside-down and sank 16 feet to the bottom of the aqueduct.

Lister and a passenger, Mary Goodley of San Bernardino, escaped and swam to the surface. Shanika was trapped by her seat belt in the back seat until firefighter Ron McFadden dove in and freed her.

The man believed to be driving the car that caused the accident, Dennis Martin Byrnes, 49, of Lancaster, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run driving Sunday after a witness followed him and wrote down his license plate number.

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