Drunk driver kills two homeless people on Los Angeles sidewalk

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (BNO NEWS) -- A drunk teenager was arrested on vehicular manslaughter charges Sunday after she lost control of her vehicle and ran over two homeless people who were sleeping on a sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles, officials said on Monday.

The incident happened at approximately 12:05 a.m. local time on Sunday when a black four-door 1989 Mercedes Benz drove onto a sidewalk on Crocker Street, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of Los Angeles International Airport, and ran over two homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk.

"The unidentified victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics," said Officer Cleon Joseph, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. He said the driver of the vehicle was identified as 19-year-old Carmen Elena Chavez of Los Angeles.

"She lost control of her car as she was making a right turn at an unsafe speed. She was found to be under the influence of alcohol and booked for 191.5 P.C., Vehicular Manslaughter," Joseph said. Chavez was transported to the Los Angeles County Jail where her bail was set at $100,000.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,228 people were killed in 2010 in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. More than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics during the same period.

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