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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Chatsworth

Burbank Man Killed in High-Speed Crash

March 02, 2000|HECTOR BECERRA

A passenger in a car speeding around a sharp turn on Nordhoff Street was killed early Wednesday when the automobile plowed into a light pole and caught fire, authorities said.

Christopher Chin, 20, of Burbank, died after the 1999 Subaru driven by a teenage friend hit a curb sideways and crashed into the pole and a tree along Nordhoff just east of De Soto Avenue about midnight, said Officer Morlee Watson of the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division.

The driver, Francis Miranda, 19, of Northridge, and front-seat passenger Rommel Estrada, 20, of Sun Valley, were able to get out, but couldn't pull Chin out before the vehicle caught fire, Watson said.

"The machine got away from them and it was that quick," said Watson, adding that it was unclear if the crash or the fire caused Chin's death.

"The victim was unconscious and blunt trauma wasn't obvious," Watson said.

An investigation of the incident is underway, but Watson said there was nothing to indicate that alcohol was involved. He said witnesses told police that the car was headed to a nearby location to watch drag racing.

Police said it did not appear that the car that crashed or a second vehicle following them were racing. There were no arrests.

A passenger in the car following Miranda's vehicle called 911 on his cellular phone, the officer said.

Miranda and Estrada, who had minor injuries, were taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where they were treated and released, authorities said.

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