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Update: Car Accident Kills 2 Parents, Sends Children to Hospital

Two children are sent to the hospital in critical condition as well.

Updated at 7 p.m. 9/26/12  

Two adults are dead and two of their daughters are in the hospital in critical condition following an accident that took place at about 10:50 a.m. Wednesday morning in Woodland Hills.

According to witnesses, a silver Toyota Rav 4 carrying the family failed to stop at a stop sign after traveling east down a steep section of Califa Street, swerved to miss a car rightfully in the intersection of Califa and Oso Avenue and flipped onto its side, skidded and hit a parked Ford F-250 pickup truck, pushing the truck about 15 feet and partially up onto a sidewalk, according to Capt. Jeff Bert of the Valley Traffic Division.

The small SUV and one-ton truck came to a rest on Califa Street between Oso and Keokuk avenues adjacent to the abandoned Oso Street Elementary School.

Bert said witnesses reported the Rav 4 was traveling at a very high rate of speed. Though Bert said police hadn't yet determined how fast the SUV was traveling, speed does seem to be a factor in the deaths.

"I'm a cop, but before that, I'm a dad with four little daughters and I've seen over and over in my 16 years of experience we can break the law, but we can't break the laws of physics," Bert said. "No matter what car you're driving, if you're driving a tank or a Toyota, if you're going down a hill at a high rate of speed, there's a good chance you or somebody you love is going to get killed."

The adults, Bert said, were sitting in the front of the SUV and the children were in the back. Firefighters had to extricate all four.

Names of the adults, who police said were in their 40s, and the girls, one a teenager and the other grade-school aged, have not yet been released.

Neighbors at the scene called the area streets dangerous due to speeding cars.

"It's an extremely dangerous street. Cars go 50 to 60 miles an hour along here and there are lots of children," said neighborhood resident Andrea Weston.

Weston said people who live in the area have tried to get speed bumps installed in the streets nearby, but had been turned down by the City.

So far, the division has four more fatalities than year to date last year, Bert said, though he did report last year saw the lowest fatality rate in 20 years.

City News Service contributed to this story.

Pat Lukes September 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Not surprising to me. Two $3M houses went up in my neighborhood of lesser valued homes and by the time the houses were completed, there were speed bumps in front of each house, while there were many more dangerous curves and streets that needed them more in the neighborhood. Money talks. This is very sad, but reading this story made me so angry that this might have been the case where speed bumps were asked for, but refused. Shame on LA City.
Tee InvitationLady September 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
So sad but IM SO SICK OF PEOPLE DRIVING RECKLESS and they DO!! No one uses their turn signal, you want to get in lane and the IDIOT drives faster so you can't get in, No STOPS entirely @ intersections, IDiots make turn and don't even stop, Coming out of drive way, IDIOTS just go into street without stopping & to slowly check if clear. IM SO SICK OF THESE PEOPLE, THEY NEED TO RE-TAKE DRIVER'S ED AND DMV TEST.... I see so many accidents, which I was just in one some unlicensed YEA Illegal probably, driving with 2 lil kids, I had green and WHAM! Hit me and totaled my car, I'm still in pain from the dumb bitch! With kids and cops didn't impound (tks new law), nor write up report, she only got a ticket! So with above IDIOTS driving like they do and just had accident not long ago IM A WRECK and notice a lot more - WHY EVERYONE IN SUCH A F'N RUSH!?
Tee InvitationLady September 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Poor children just lost their mommy - I send a Prayer for family, but this Im sure could of be avoided if not speeding. Not worth it!
Rebecca Whitnall (Editor) September 28, 2012 at 03:24 AM
I'm curious to see what the investigation reveals. It's possible there was a mechanical failure ... they were coming down a steep hill. There wasn't talk of it at the small press conference at the scene, but I imagine it's a possibility.
Kim Neal September 30, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Amen!
Kim Neal September 30, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Doesn't matter anymore.....mechanical ? I doubt it! People have no regard for the enormous responsibility of driving other people around. Avoidable deaths..
Anne September 30, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Were they ever identified? I didn't see any follow up on this tragic story... :(
Pat Lukes September 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I've check a few times for identification, but none. And Kim, I doubt mechanical also, because the driver's neighbors were more than eager to point out that he was a habitual speeder. We have a few of those in my neighborhood also.
Anne October 01, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I wonder why they haven't identified them in the news yet? My son went to the middle school in that same meighborhood and is also 14, so I'm wondering if he knows the family.
Pat Lukes October 01, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Here's why I think they haven't Anne: Recently when there have been news reports and such where people have had fires or other problems and they list the address or just names, their properties have been looted. Do you think they're trying to protect the residence and two remaining children in the house? I thought it was weird also, but this is the only thing I could come up with.
Anne October 01, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Very good point, Pat. I would think that was probably why. It's sad to think that there are people who would take advantage of something like this, but they're out there. I remember when my father passed away I put an obituary in the paper and noted the day and time of the service. After it had already been published, someone mentioned to me that that probably wasn't a good idea as it would give people an idea of when we would all be away from the house. It never occurred to me!
lorena October 01, 2012 at 04:12 AM
there names were Dino and rosa i live down the street and it was a mechanical accident the car didn't have breaks and i heard from his neighbors that a couple days prior he was ftrying to fix his car....i feel bad for the 2 daughters that lost there family :(
lorena October 01, 2012 at 04:13 AM
there names were Dino and rosa i live down the street and it was a mechanical accident the car didn't have breaks and i heard from his neighbors that a couple days prior he was ftrying to fix his car....i feel bad for the 2 daughters that lost there family :(
Pat Lukes October 01, 2012 at 05:08 AM
That is heartbreaking. 4 kids without their parents now. Whoa...life is fleeting for sure.
Danielle October 01, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I live in the neighborhood as well. I was wondering if they were residents because we have a few habitual speeders in the area. I don't let my daughter ride her bike around the hills because the speeding worries me so much. I sincerely hope that speedbumps are installed soon. My prayer go out to the family and especially the little girls.
Sara October 02, 2012 at 03:33 AM
If you live on this street, you know there's a 4 way stop sign. It had to be mechanical. Only outsiders run the stop signs here. Everyone needs to stop jumping to conclusions and blaming the parents, who are already dead. You'd want their daughters to see all this finger pointing one day? Haven't they suffered enough? What good does it do to say things like; "mechanical ? I doubt it!" The mom's name has been released and the dad's is being withheld because his family, overseas, has not been notified. http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_21673967/mother-killed-woodland-hills-crash-idd-orphaned-daughters
Pat Lukes October 02, 2012 at 04:27 AM
I'm responding to Sara above (Oct 1). We were doubting that mechanical was a factor, because at least two (I saw them myself) neighbors spoke out about the habitual speeding in the neighborhood by the father of the kids. We're not being cynical, just reporting what others have said. I guess we'll find out about the mechanical thing is due time.
Rebecca Whitnall (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Hi Pat, actually, I spoke with one of the detectives working on the case (the public information officer for the division is out on vacation) and he said the department won't look into whether it was mechanical failure or not. The department, he said, determined the accident was caused by excessive speed and isn't going beyond that (I understood him to say if another car were involved in causing the accident, further investigation might have taken place). He did say sometimes an insurance investigation will take place.
Rebecca Whitnall (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Hi Anne, the mother was identified as Leila Milon, 45, of the 20400 block of West Califa Street by the Daily News. The father's identity has not been released yet because family members are still trying to make contact with his parents in Iran, the assistant chief of the coroner's office told the newspaper. Because the girls are minors, their names will most likely not be released. As well, the hospitals can't legally give status updates about the girls' conditions without permission; however, a statement posted today (Monday) on the Topanga Community Station's facebook page said the girls remain in critical condition at a local hospital. We're wishing them the very best.
Simona Ashley October 05, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Our sincere condolences. R.I.P Toyota Motor Corp. said it's recalling 778,000 RAV4 SUVs and Lexus HS 250h sedans in the U.S. to fix a suspension problem that could cause crashes. The company says if rear suspension nuts aren't tightened properly after a wheel alignment, the arms can rust and separate from the vehicle. Toyota reported nine crashes and three minor injuries from the problem. RAV4s from the 2006 to 2011 model years are covered by the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the problem in June after getting several reports from drivers, including one who reported swerving over four lanes of an interstate when the suspension arm disconnected. Four drivers told NHTSA they temporarily lost control of their vehicles because of the issue. Toyota says it's developing a plan to fix the problem and will notify owners by mail when it's time to take them to dealers for a free repair. In the meantime, the company says drivers should contact their dealers if they hear an abnormal sound in the rear of the vehicle. This is the latest issue for the popular RAV4, which is currently involved in a government investigation of door fires that have been linked to power window switches. Two years ago, RAV4s from the 2009 and 2010 model years were among the millions of vehicles Toyota recalled for sticky gas pedals.
Yami February 21, 2013 at 06:17 AM
So which is it Lorena? Reporter Rebecca says Leila. The father was from Iran. That itself makes me think 'speed'. It was known he was a habitual speeder. How are the girls...did they come through alright? Anyone speak with them yet?
Yami February 21, 2013 at 06:23 AM
I seriously doubt it was the car. Its been said, he was from Iran, and a habitual speeder. You can always downshift or use the parking brake, if you feel the brakes go out. My guess, is that he was too "hard" on the car. Driving fast, pushing hard on the brakes, driving it to the limits, etc. Maybe skimping on maintaining the car

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