first_imgWEST HILLS — A 19-year-old man was killed when he lost control of his car and crashed into a motor home and a car driven by a student driver, possibly during a street race, authorities said this morning. Jonathan McGinnis was driving a supped-up Honda Civic west on Vanowen Street approaching Cleomoore Avenue at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday when he lost control of the car, police said. The Honda crossed into oncoming lanes, hit a parked motor home and was hit by a 15-year-old student driver traveling east on Vanowen in a training car, LAPD Detective Steve Schiltz said. After hitting the student driver, McGinnis hit the motor home again. “I was in my home on the second floor when I heard the screeching,” said Ed Nazari, who owns the motor home. “As soon as I saw that the two ladies in one car were OK, I rushed to the other car, the red car. The car was so badly damaged. “I smashed the window and pulled it down and reached inside and tried to talk to the young man, but he wasn’t responding. I checked to see if there was a pulse, and there was very little pulse. Five minutes later, the paramedics arrived and started resuscitating him.” McGinnis was taken to a local hospital, where he died, Schiltz said. The student driver and her instructor were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries, Schiltz said. Witnesses told police the Honda was racing with another vehicle that was traveling westbound on Vanowen, although those witnesses gave three different colors for the second car. “All of the vehicles were going fast,” Schiltz said. “This was maybe a race of opportunity — they come up to a light, maybe at Fallbrook or Platt, and it’s a the-race-is-on type of thing. Or, everybody just happened to be going fast at 8:30 in the evening and it was just one car passing another car that was going fast.” Street racing has dropped dramatically in the San Fernando Valley since 2003, when the City Council passed an ordinance allowing police to seize cars involved in races. Before that, police would see organized street races straight out of the “Fast and the Furious” movies, with someone dropping a flag to start the race. Now, most street races are impromptu, authorities said. “The problem still exists,” LAPD Detective Bill Bustos said. “It has not gone away completely. … Illegal street racers, they’re abusing their privilege to drive. They’re putting their lives in jeopardy, as well as other motorists, pedestrians and the community as a whole. They need to accept responsibility for their driving privilege and obey the traffic laws to avoid the type of incident that happened last night.” Police are trying to find the driver of the second car traveling westbound on Vanowen. If officials can prove they were racing, the driver could face charges up to manslaughter, Bustos said. Witnesses described the car as either gray, yellow or blue. Anyone who witnessed the crash or who has any information about the it or the second car can call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Bureau at (818) 756-8381. — Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 546-3669 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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