The crash occurred at 3:15 a.m. local time in Palmdale, which is
located about 63 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
Robert Rodriguez, 20, of Palmdale, was arrested on suspicion of
driving under the influence of alcohol and was charged at the
Palmdale Sheriff's Station with vehicular manslaughter, the Los
Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.
"The driver was at a high rate of speed and either tried to turn or
lost control, impacted the curb and went into the apartment
building," Sergeant David Sauer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
The driver "unfortunately killed a teenage girl that was inside the
apartment," Sauer said.
If toxicology reports confirm that Rodriguez was under the influence
of drugs or alcohol, he could face other charges, a spokeswoman with
the sheriff's department said.
Rodriguez was being held on $100,000 bail. It was not known whether
he had obtained an attorney.
Video from the scene showed a gray sport utility vehicle that had
crashed into the ground-floor apartment.
Witnesses told authorities the vehicle was moving at roughly 80
miles per hour (129 km per hour).
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The victim was described as a local high school student.
"She was my little sister. I just hope people who drink and drive
... I mean ... they are just causing pain for many families," the
victim's sister told KCAL-TV.
Apartments adjacent to the crash scene were evacuated to allow
building inspectors to assess whether the building's foundation had
been damaged, Sauer said.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in New York;
editing by Barbara
Goldberg and Leslie Adler)
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