Woman Killed by Hit-and-Run Pickup, Driver Now in Custody

Police car on the street

NORTHRIDGE (CNS) - A 54-year-old woman died in a two-vehicle crash in Northridge today, and the driver of the at-fault vehicle -- a white pickup -- fled the scene on foot only to be arrested hours later, police said.

The collision took place about 5:20 a.m. in the area of Balboa Boulevard and Lassen Street, according to Detective Lisette Fuentes of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The victim, identified by the coroner's office as Maribel Elizabeth Garcia of Van Nuys, died at the scene, police said. It was unclear if she had been behind the wheel of the vehicle or was a passenger. There were no other reports of injuries.

The pickup had been southbound on Balboa Boulevard when it ran a red light and hit a gray sedan, killing the woman, Fuentes said. Both vehicles then apparently veered off the road, onto a sidewalk, and into a bus stop bench.

The driver of that pickup, identified by the LAPD as 54-year-old Barbara Ann Vergara of Van Nuys, was taken into custody by officers from the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division about 1 p.m., according to jail records, which indicated she was being held on $90,000 bail. Her arraignment has yet to be scheduled.

The LAPD's Valley Traffic Division asked anyone who saw the crash to call them at 818-644-8000.

Photo: Getty Images

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