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California Briefing / Carlsbad

Man held in purse theft from fatal crash scene

January 08, 2009|Tony Perry

A 31-year-old Carlsbad man has been arrested in connection with the theft of a purse from the scene of a crash on Interstate 5 that killed a pregnant Tijuana woman, the California Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

Mark Christopher Struk is in jail and will be charged with felony theft, the CHP said. Police are seeking a female passenger from Struk's car who allegedly grabbed the purse beside an overturned vehicle. Struk and a companion allegedly came upon the crash on the I-5 in Solana Beach about 1 a.m. Sunday as off-duty law enforcement officers and Marines were attempting to save Yina Gonzalez, 24.

Gonzalez and her fetus died after she was ejected from her Ford Explorer and pinned beneath it, the CHP said. As rescue efforts were underway, Struk stopped at the scene, his companion grabbed the purse and then they drove away, the CHP said. The CHP credited members of the public for noting the license plate of the vehicle driven by Struk.

John F. Sudac, 27, has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, hit and run, and vehicular manslaughter. The CHP says a vehicle driven by Sudac struck the vehicle in which Gonzalez and family members were riding.

-- Tony Perry

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