A 16-year-old Southern California girl was killed while asleep in her bed early Sunday when a suspected drunk driver crashed into an apartment building, law enforcement officials said.
The crash occurred at 3:15 a.m. local time in Palmdale, located approximately 63 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
Robert Rodriguez, 20-years-old, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol and was charged at the Palmdale Sherriff’s Station with vehicular manslaughter, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
“The driver was at a high rate of speed and either tried to turn or lost control, impacted the curb and went into the apartment building,” Sgt. David Sauer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The driver “unfortunately killed a teenage girl that was inside the apartment,” Sauer said.
If toxicology reports confirm that Rodriguez was in fact under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he could face other charges, a spokeswoman with the sheriff’s department said.
Rodriguez was being held on $100,00 bail and it is not known if he has obtained an attorney.
Video from the scene shows a grey sport utility vehicle that had crashed into the ground floor of the apartment. Witnesses told authorities that the vehicle was travelling at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour.
The 16-year-old girl was described as being a local high school student.
“She was my little sister. I just hope people who drink and drive … I mean … they are just causing pain for many families,” the victim’s sister told KCAL-TV.
Apartments next to the crash scene were evacuated to allow building inspectors to assess whether the building’s foundation had been damaged, Sauer said.
The tragic Easter accident will likely affect alter the life of the drunk driver tremendously.