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Los Angeles

2 Consulate Employees Killed as Car, Bus Collide

July 26, 2002|KENNETH REICH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two members of the staff of the Australian Consulate for the Los Angeles area were killed and another was critically injured Wednesday night when their car collided with a bus near Los Angeles International Airport.

Police identified the dead as Robert Vicelich, 27, a citizen of New Zealand, and Elizabeth Ewing, also 27, a U.S. citizen. The 23-year-old injured woman, also a U.S. citizen, was not identified.

Australian Consul General Allan Rocher said Vicelich had worked at the consulate in Culver City for three years, dealing with Australian citizens visiting or living in Southern California. Rocher said his duties had included handling problems resulting from traffic accidents.

Rocher said Ewing had worked for the consulate for more than two years as a financial administrator, and the injured woman, recently hired, had been a part-time helper to Ewing.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday July 28, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 9 inches; 345 words Type of Material: Correction
Australian Consulate--A story in Friday's California section gave the wrong location for the Australian Consulate. It is in Century City, not Culver City.

"We're distraught," Rocher said. "This is not a happy place to be today, but everyone is providing mutual support."

A police spokesman, Jack Richter, said the accident occurred when Vicelich was turning left from Sepulveda Westway, a small street a block west of Sepulveda Boulevard, into the westbound lanes of Manchester Avenue. The car collided with the bus, which was eastbound.

Firefighters had to extricate those in the car.

No passengers on the Big Blue Bus from Santa Monica were hurt, but the driver suffered minor injuries, police said.

Richter said accounts from witnesses were contradictory, and police were investigating who had the right of way.

Joe Stitcher, customer relations director for the Big Blue Bus lines, said their officials hadn't seen a police report yet.

"Right now, all we can say is that we're concerned about our employees and passengers having to go through something this dramatic, and we regret the loss of life that took place," Stitcher said.

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