Updated at 6:25 p.m. June 21, 2015
Police on Sunday released the name of the motorist arrested after a two-vehicle crash that killed a couple in Arleta on Saturday night.
Arsen Panasian, 41, of Van Nuys was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder, Officer Brandon Tepper of the Los Angeles Police Department‘s Valley Traffic Division said. A police spokeswoman told City News Service that investigators believe he was under influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.
The coroner’s office identified the victims — killed in the collision about 9:10 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Branford Street and Dorrington Avenue — as 62-year-old Alfred Chacon and 61-year-old Alma Alyse Chacon. They were husband and wife, according to a report from the scene. Authorities had initially reported that the pair were father and daughter.
Panasian was westbound on Branford Street in a 1999 Chevy Astro van that collided with the Chacons’ Toyota Camry as it traveled south on Dorrington Avenue, Tepper said.
The force of the crash caused the Camry to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction and run off the roadway, police said.
The victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
Panasian was handcuffed when taken from the scene in an ambulance, according to a witness at the scene.
A large contingent of police officers responded to the intersection to control dozens of unruly onlookers.
Valley Traffic Division detectives asked anyone who saw the crash to call them at (818) 644-8022.
— City News Service