On Wednesday afternoon, December 17 2014, a 42-year-old woman, Bertha Alicia Rosales, was turning out of the residential street Duranzo Drive, left onto Halliburton Road, the 4 lane divided main thoroughfare which passes through the Hacienda Heights neighborhood. She had two of her children in the car, a 2007 BMW 328i.
According to the Highway Patrol, just as she entered the street to make her turn, she was struck by a car coming from her left side, traveling east on Halliburton Road. That car was a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS being driven by a 17-year-old, Aron Harutun Petrosian. Officers from the Santa Fe Springs CHP, along with emergency medical personnel, were dispatched to the scene at 2:40 pm on reports of the injury collision.
Bertha Rosales suffered fatal injuries in the accident, and her two sons, Isaac, 13, and Ramon Jr., 10, suffered serious injuries, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The three were heading home from the boys’ school, Mesa Robles Elementary, at the time of the collision. Petrosian, in the Camaro, reportedly only suffered minor injuries. No arrests or citations were issued at the time pending the complete accident investigation.
Investigators with the Santa Fe Springs CHP office, together with the Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT), did an in depth analysis of the collision. Like airline accident investigators using the plane’s “Black Box”, they obtained a search warrant for the Camaro’s Air Bag Computer Module. The investigation revealed that Petrosian was traveling well in excess of the 40 mph limit on Halliburton, and that his speed was the primary cause of the collision. On Thursday, April 30, he was arrested on the charge of murder under penal code 187(a). The case was filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney the next day for review and prosecution. Petrosian had turned 18 by the time of his arrest.
Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Edgar Figueroa pointed out that crashes among young drivers, especially ages 16 to 24, are double the number of any other age group. Younger teens, ages 12 to 17, are also more likely to die in a crash than younger kids, often due to teen drivers and not using safety belts, and traveling on higher speed roads with limits of 45 mph or more. Distractions such as cell phones, eating or drinking, adjusting the stereo, or even talking with friends are also big contributors to accidents and fatalities.
A “Give Forward” account has been established to help raise money to support the Rosales Family. As of this writing, just over $26,000 of a goal of $50,000 has been raised.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune (12/24/14): Community rallies behind Hacienda Heights family devastated by fatal car crash