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Kidnapped woman dies in crash during LAPD pursuit

Her alleged abductor was trying to flee police when he crashed the sport utility vehicle he was driving into another vehicle in Westlake.

February 17, 2012|By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

The victim of a reported kidnapping died Thursday after her alleged abductor crashed the sport utility vehicle he was driving head-on into another vehicle in Westlake as he was trying to flee police, authorities said.

Police were alerted to the kidnapping shortly after 8 a.m. when witnesses reported a woman inside a GMC Yukon frantically waving for help near the intersection of 6th Street and Westlake Avenue, said Cmdr. Andy Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Patrol officers spotted the SUV, which was being driven by a man. He pulled a U-turn in front of them and fled, Smith said.

The officers initiated a brief pursuit that ended just over a mile away when the SUV crossed a double yellow line and smashed head-on into an oncoming Volvo at 6th and Bixel streets.

The kidnapping victim, a woman who was not immediately identified, suffered critical injuries in the collision and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The driver of the Volvo was hospitalized with a broken bone.

The suspect was arrested at the scene. Although police said they believed there was some kind of relationship between the suspect and victim, they had no immediate details.

The suspect was hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries. He is expected to be booked on suspicion of kidnapping and murder, police said.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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