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Driver Charged in Deadly Long Beach Crash Had Uber Passenger in Car: DA

Driver Charged in Deadly Long Beach Crash Had Uber Passenger in Car: DA

A police officer in a file photo. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

10/18/2023

Updated: 10/18/2023

0

LONG BEACH, Calif.—A Los Angeles man was charged Oct. 17 with a felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for the death of a 60-year-old Long Beach woman who was killed when he allegedly drove into a group of pedestrians Oct. 14.
Khalid Yagobbi, 46, pleaded not guilty to the charge Tuesday afternoon in a Long Beach courtroom, and his bail was set at $50,000.
Police said Mr. Yagobbi was speeding eastbound in a white Chevy Bolt in the westbound lanes of Shoreline Drive when he drove through a red light and struck the pedestrians and multiple, occupied vehicles without slowing down at about 6:34 p.m. Saturday at Shoreline Drive and Aquarium Way.
Romelia Cuarenta Aguilar, 60, of Long Beach, was pronounced dead at the scene.
During Tuesday’s arraignment hearing, a prosecutor said Mr. Yagobbi was an Uber driver and had a passenger in his car when the crash occurred.
Witnesses said the car struck Ms. Aguilar as she pushed a child in a stroller in the crosswalk, and then slammed into multiple vehicles in the opposite lane.
Several other pedestrians were injured and hospitalized, although they were said to be in stable condition.
“At this time, there is no indication that this incident was an act of terror nor associated with the current violence in Israel; however, the investigation is ongoing,” the Long Beach Police Department said Sunday.
Yagobbi, who remained at the scene, was taken to a hospital for treatment and then sent to the Long Beach Jail, where he was initially arrested on suspicion of murder.
“On behalf of the Long Beach Police Department, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Romelia Aguilar for their loss,” Long Beach Police Chief Wally Hebeish said after the crash. “The violence and acts of terror abroad have generated concern and anxiety throughout our community, and this apparent act of violence has only added to that anxiety.
“The immediate response by our officers, detectives, and partners from the FBI has been instrumental in this investigation, and while there is no evidence indicating a nexus to the current conflict in the Middle East, we will remain vigilant as we continue investigating every aspect of this crime,” the police chief said.
“While motive remains under investigation, at this time, there is no indication the incident is connected to terrorism nor the current violence in the Middle East,” Long Beach police said in a posting Oct. 16 on X.
Police urged anyone with information about the suspect or the crash to call them at 562-570-7244.
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