A La Crescenta woman was arrested on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence of alcohol after she rear-ended a car on the Glendale Freeway, killing two passengers, authorities said Thursday.
Na Hyun Kwak, 26, struck a 1985 Toyota headed north on the freeway near Mountain Street about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Becky Lynch.
The Toyota, which had slowed down in a middle lane, burst into flames on impact and sideswiped a third car, causing minor damage.
Other motorists were able to free the Toyota's driver and front passenger, but they could not rescue the two rear passengers, Lynch said.
Lynch said the victims were a 15-year-old Burbank boy and a 35-year-old Tujunga man. Their families have been notified, but a spokesman for the coroner's office said the names would not be released pending confirmed identification from dental records.
CHP spokesman Frank Sansone said he was unsure why the Toyota slowed down, and said it was not known whether the passengers were killed on impact or from the fire that ensued.
Kwak was driving a 1999 Honda Civic and suffered minor injuries. Her husband, Kyu Hun Kwak, was called to the scene by his wife--and was then arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he nearly ran over a patrol officer, Lynch said.
Na Hyun Kwak remained in Glendale Jail on Thursday in lieu of $1-million bail. Her blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.18%, Glendale police said. The legal limit for driving is 0.08%.
The Toyota's surviving passenger, a 68-year-old Tujunga man, suffered fractured ribs and was in fair condition at Huntington Memorial Hospital on Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The Toyota's driver was taken to Glendale Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, but authorities there would not comment on his condition.
The northbound lanes of the Glendale Freeway were closed for five hours after the accident.