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Woman Killed In Fiery Boyle Heights Crash Allegedly By Unlicensed Driver

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A woman was killed Friday in a fiery hit-and-run collision in Boyle Heights -- allegedly by an unlicensed driver -- prompting an outcry for the review of current vehicle impound procedures.

California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles police officers responded to the collision, which happened around 3:10 a.m. at Fourth Street and Boyle Avenue, according to the watch commander at the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollenbeck Station. One of the vehicles caught fire, he said.

LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said the fatally injured motorist, whose name was not released, was driving a car that was struck by a speeding vehicle. She died at the scene.

Two of three occupants of the other car fled but were tracked down and arrested, according to police, who are still searching for a third person. It was unclear if the driver was one of the two male suspects in custody.

The unidentified driver is unlicensed and had a warrant out for his arrest, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"We know he had a warrant, though it's not clear for what," LAPD Officer Melissa Lisenby told the Times.

Members of the Los Angeles Police Protective League have spoken out against the current vehicle impound procedures, accusing the Los Angeles Police Department of disregarding state law allowing the impoundment of vehicles operated by unlicensed drivers as a public safety measure. Instead of being impounded for 30 days, the vehicles are being returned to the offenders, according to the police union.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck recently proposed some changes to the procedure, which will be reviewed by the Los Angeles Police Commission next week.

"Public safety will not be compromised by these changes, nor is the Los Angeles Police Department ignoring the law," Beck said. "We are, in fact, enforcing the law to its letter and in its spirit."

 (©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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