Teen driver suspected in Van Nuys deadly crash: 'Complete disregard for human life’

An 18-year-old driver was in custody Monday after allegedly fleeing police and crashing an SUV through a building being used as a Halloween pop-up store in Van Nuys, killing a woman and injuring at least five other people, authorities said.

"What did we do to deserve this?" said 818 pop-up shop owner Genevieve Salazar. "I’m mad. I’m numb, I can’t say I forgive him. There’s no forgiveness in that. We lost somebody special, we lost somebody’s family member."

Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said the crash happened around 8:05 p.m. Sunday at 7600 Woodley Avenue. 

Luis Carrillo-Castaneda, 18, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of murder, the Los Angeles Police Department reported.

The Los Angeles Police Department said the suspect has a history of reckless driving.

"The officers have seen this individual before. He was supposedly involved in another traffic collision involving reckless driver," said LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling.

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According to police, Carrillo-Castaneda was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe west on Saticoy Street "at a high rate of speed" when it crashed into the building on the southwest corner of Woodley Avenue and Saticoy Street.

"Due to his prior acts, he is well aware of what can happen due to his accidents and knowingly driving the way he was [with] complete disregard for human life and safety," said LAPD Officer Jeff Smith. 

A Woodland Hills woman died at the scene, the LAPD reported. The identity of the woman, believed to have been in her 20s, was withheld, pending notification of her relatives. Paramedics evaluated at least five other people for injuries, none believed life-threatening.

Witnesses said Carrillo-Castaneda was taking part in a nearby street takeover, doing donuts in the middle of an intersection, and crashed into the building at a high speed, while being followed by the LAPD helicopter overhead.

Street takeovers often involve dozens or sometimes hundreds of attendees blocking off city intersections where drivers perform stunts. Serious injuries and some deaths have occurred at street takeovers in recent years.

The genders and ages of the other victims were not immediately available.

LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue team was evaluating the stability of the building, Stewart said.

FOX 11's Gigi Graciette contributed to this report. 

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