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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Police Identify 2 Suspects in Freeway Crash

September 01, 2000

LYNWOOD — Police have identified the suspected car thieves whose wrong-way escape attempt on the Century Freeway ended in a horrific head-on collision.

Daniel Payan, 21, the driver, and Regulo Orozco, 24, both of Los Angeles are being held in lieu of $30,000 bail on suspicion of grand theft auto and felony evading, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Pasquariello said Thursday.

Officers began chasing the suspects about 9 p.m. Wednesday after receiving reports of shots fired and seeing a car fitting the description of one reported at the shooting, police said.

As police chased the car on surface streets, they determined that it had been stolen. Payan entered the freeway at Central Avenue, driving eastbound in the westbound carpool lane, police said.

Driving at speeds estimated at up to 80 mph, Payan collided head-on with a car carrying four people. Their names have not been released.

Some occupants in each car were seriously injured.

A Los Angeles County Fire Department official said both cars were equipped with air bags, "and that probably saved lives."

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