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Kelly Pham, UCLA Student From La Mirada, Killed in Saturday-Night DUI Crash

A young UCLA graduate who had reportedly just been accepted into the university's law school was killed in a brutal crash during the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The victim, 21-year-old Kelly Pham, was riding in the passenger seat of a 2006 Mazda driven by 23-year-old Justin Drake, according to City News Service. Fullerton police say the driver was speeding down Malvern Avenue at about 1:15 a.m., heading west, when he screeched into a sharp turn at Woods Avenue:


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The Mazda smashed through a tree and into a retaining wall before coming to a stop.

Both driver and passenger were immediately rushed to the hospital for their injuries. Pham was declared dead five-and-a-half hours later at the UC Irvine Medical Center; Drake remains hospitalized, but is in police custody on suspicion of felony DUI.

Fullerton police Sergeant Andy Goodrich told CIty News Service that Drake "will be transferred to the Orange County Jail when he is well enough."

According to the coroner's report, the victim was going to turn 22 next month. On Pham's Facebook page, she identifies herself as a graduate of La Mirada High -- and on the high school's alumni website, Pham is listed as a UCLA student, class of 2010. A commenter for the Orange County Register adds that she was planning to continue her education at the Westwood campus:

Kelly was a wonderful young woman who was smart delightful and just a wonderful human being. She was an accomplished swimmer and had just got accepted to UCLA's law school.

Did you know Pham or her driver, or have any idea what they might have been doing Saturday night? Please share below.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]


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