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2 Suspected Of Drinking, Street Racing Charged With Killing Elderly Woman

POMONA ( –Two suspected street racers were charged with murder and DUI Thursday for allegedly causing a crash that killed an elderly woman on Christmas in West Covina.

Vincent Lopez, 30, and Victor Hugo Sanchez, 34, were each charged with one count of murder and one count of driving under the influence causing injury in connection with the crash that happened about 9 p.m. Tuesday at Lark Ellen and Merced avenues, West Covina police Lt. David Lee said.

The suspects are tentatively scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Celia La Torre, 90, of West Covina, had just been released from Queen of the Valley Hospital. She was seated in a wheelchair secured in a van driven by her son, 72-year-old Jaime Ochoa, when the vehicle was broadsided by a Mitsubishi Eclipse allegedly driven by Lopez.

La Torre was ejected from the van and pronounced dead at the scene.

Celia La Torre
(credit: CA DMV)

Ochoa was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was treated for head trauma.

Lopez was taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital for leg injuries, where he remained as of Thursday.

Police said Lopez and Sanchez were seen racing on Lark Ellen Avenue moments before the crash.

"At the time of the accident, the two were still racing. Only one of the vehicles collided into the van. The other one (Sanchez) actually took off and went eastbound on Merced and left the scene," said West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez.

Sanchez was arrested Wednesday in Pomona.

The suspects had also been drinking in a bar in the 200 block of South Glendora Avenue within an hour before the accident, according to detectives.

Both men face life in prison with the possibility of parole, if convicted.


Suspected Street Racer Kills Elderly Woman In West Covina Crash

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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