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Investigator OKs charges in crash

Woman died after car hit tree in Valencia

Posted: November 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Elbirlik Elbirlik

An investigator has recommended county prosecutors proceed with criminal charges against the driver of a car that crashed last summer on McBean Parkway in Valencia, killing the passenger.

The Mazda Miata was traveling at more than 90 mph when it crashed into trees in the road’s center divider, a Sheriff’s Department investigator said.

Tugba Elbirlik, 21, of Turkey, who was living in Valencia for the summer and working at Six Flags Magic Mountain on a work visa, died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash in front of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

Detective Jeff Maag, a traffic investigator for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said Tuesday he submitted paperwork to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office recommending charges be filed against the driver, also a Turkish national and also living in Valencia and working at Magic Mountain.

The fatal crash occurred about 1:30 a.m. Aug. 19 on McBean just south of Avenida Navarre in Valencia, Traffic Branch Sgt. Rich Cohen confirmed at the time.

The driver of the car remained hospitalized in critical condition for at least a day after the crash.

After two days investigating the crash, Maag said the Miata was traveling 93 miles an hour when the crash occurred.

His filing Tuesday, recommending prosecutors proceed with the case, would be the latest in a series of fatal crashes to result in criminal charges.

On Aug. 20, less than one day after the crash that claimed Elbirlik’s life, a 20-year-old Canyon Country man was killed.

Luis Castillo Jr. died when the car in which he was a passenger left Soledad Canyon Road and struck a tree on a raised center median west of Camp Plenty Road.

Last month, Maag filed paperwork with the district attorney on that case.

Consequently, Anthony Hernandez, 24, of Canyon Country was charged with misdemeanor manslaughter in the death of Castillo, his younger brother.

In a third fatal crash, Dakota Demott, 19, died Jan. 10 when the Ford Mustang in which he was riding slammed into a tree on Sand Canyon Road at Alamo Canyon Road.

Colt Sean Doherty, 19, and Thomas Joseph Vensko, 20, both of Canyon Country, are awaiting trial in that crash, both charged with second-degree murder for Demott’s death.



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