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Family members of a man whose body landed on a freeway sign during a car crash say they performed a lamb sacrifice for him days earlier for protection from harm.

Richard Pananian, 20, of Burbank had been battling serious health issues but overcame them, his cousin, Armen Kardashian, told the Los Angeles Times. He would not say what the health issues were.

This time, his family wasn’t taking any chances and was determined to protect him, so they performed a matagh, or offering, on Oct. 25, The Times reported Tuesday. Matagh is a tradition of the Armenian Church and often used to show appreciation to God for saving a life, asking for good health or for peace.

Pananian’s family hoped the offering of the lamb would provide some protection, his cousin said.

Five days later, last Friday, Pananian was headed to his new job at Glendale Collision Center. He was driving on southbound on the 5 Freeway just north of California 134 when his Ford Fiesta rear-ended a pickup truck and overturned, said California Highway Patrol Officer Edgar Figueroa. He was not wearing a seat belt, according to the CHP.

Pananian was ejected, propelled upward, and he landed on the Colorado Street freeway sign. Before the crash, the CHP received a call at 7 a.m. about the driver of a Ford Fiesta traveling recklessly, The Times reported.

—City News Service

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