Homeless Woman Killed In Pacoima When Vehicle Rolls Down Embankment

Sometimes accidents can have tragic and unexpected outcomes for those who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  NBC Los Angeles reports that in Pacoima on Wednesday night, a homeless woman was killed when a vehicle rolled down an embankment along the 118 Freeway.

According to the driver of the van that crashed, he was getting on to the 118 at the 1160 North Fernando Road freeway entry ramp when the unusually slick roads caused him to lose control of his vehicle.   

Trying to bring his van back under control, CHP investigators believe he overcorrected, causing the vehicle to spin and go over the side of the embankment, rolling onto a homeless camp that was beside the freeway and killing the victim instantly.

A spokesperson for the CHP said that this is just one of several weather-related crashes that the agency responded to on Wednesday.

Blanca Oritz, who is also homeless, was friends with the female victim,  heard the crash and got out of her tent to check on her dog. She realized that her friend had been in the exact area where the crash happened.

The driver, whose name has not been released, was initially unaware that he had hit anyone in the crash.  The driver told officials that he had not heard anyone yelling or indication that someone had been hurt, so he got out to get help. 

According to the son of the driver of the van, his father is devastated that his accident caused the death of an innocent person.  The CHP said it is unlikely that he will face any charges in relation to the crash.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Davis told NBC that the encampment is an unsafe place, no matter what the weather is like because of its proximity to the freeway. Officials have made attempts to clear the area of homeless persons but were mostly unsuccessful.

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