Alleged Drunk Driver in Crash That Killed LAPD Officer Still in Hospital

Alleged Drunk Driver in Crash That Killed LAPD Officer Still in Hospital

A Los Angeles Police Department car in Los Angeles on Jan 6, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service


Updated: 11/5/2023

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—The 20-year-old driver who allegedly ran a red light while driving drunk at approximately 100 mph, killing an off-duty LAPD officer in Northridge, remained hospitalized on Nov. 5 and has yet to be officially booked, police said.
Officer Darrell Cunningham and his front-seat passenger were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.
Firefighters were called to 18101 W. Roscoe Blvd., near the intersection with Lindley Avenue, at 1:19 a.m., where they found three people trapped inside vehicles, one car lodged against a building and a damaged fire hydrant, according to spokeswoman Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department held a news conference hours later in front of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, where he said the motorist behind the wheel of the black, four-door BMW that crashed into Mr. Cunningham’s vehicle was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter.
Police told City News Service on Sunday that the driver, who has not been identified, was still hospitalized, and that once he is officially booked, police will release his name.
Mr. Moore said the suspect was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, and evidence at the scene indicated the BMW was going as fast as 100 mph.
Late Los Angeles Police Officer Darrell Cunningham. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Police Department)

Late Los Angeles Police Officer Darrell Cunningham. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Police Department)

A passenger in the back seat of Mr. Cunningham’s white Infinity, an off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, was among three other people injured in the crash, including the suspect, Mr. Moore said.
Mr. Cunningham was driving a white Infinity northbound on Lindley with two other occupants when his car was struck by the BMW, which failed to stop for the red light at the intersection, the police chief said.
LAFD paramedics pronounced Cunningham and his front-seat passenger dead at the scene. A woman inside the BMW was able free herself from wreckage, the chief said. She suffered serious injuries.
“All others were trapped because of the force and level of damage created by this horrific collision,” Mr. Moore said.
Fire crews freed the trapped victims and took them to a hospital.
The off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, who the police chief visited at the hospital, has a broken hip and “other serious injuries. It appears that he will survive,” Mr. Moore said.
The chief said Mr. Cunningham, who had logged nearly five years with the Los Angeles Police Department, was survived by a fiancee, a 3-year-old son and a 6-year-old son. The officer had worked out of the department’s West Los Angeles station.
“We mourn the loss of Officer Darrell Cunningham who was killed along with his friend by the senseless violence of a DUI driver. May God welcome him home,” Mr. Moore posted Saturday on X. “We will do everything possible to support his fiancé, 2 young boys, mom & 2 brothers.”
Mr. Moore added a short time later that he was authorizing the wearing of mourning bands in Cunningham’s honor.
“The investigation is in the skilled hands of the Department’s Multi- Disciplinary Collision Investigation Team,” the LAPD posted.
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