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Teen Girl Dies After DUI Neighbor Allegedly Plows Into Her Palmdale Home

Teen Girl Dies After DUI Neighbor Allegedly Plows Into Her Palmdale Home
Suspect Rodriguez via the LASD

A 16-year-old girl died after a 20-year-old reported to be her neighbor crashed a Nissan Pathfinder SUV into the teen's Palmdale home.

The suspect, Roberto Rodriguez, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The teen, identified in reports as Giselle Mendoza, was found dead inside the home by L.A. County Fire Department rescuers, deputies said:

A witness told TV reporters that neighbors tried to get inside the residence to rescue the driver and any potential victims inside. She said it appeared that the bed or couch on which the girl was sleeping was crushed by the heavy Nissan.

Deputies say the collision happened about 3:50 a.m. yesterday at East Avenue R at 10th Street East in Palmdale.

According to a sheriff's statement:

Residents alerted Sheriff's personnel that a female occupant was possibly in the room into which the vehicle collided and became embedded. Additional deputies responded and attempted to enter the building by pulling away the damaged wall, but were unable to gain full access.

Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel responded, gained access into the apartment and located a female, 16 years old, who was fatally injured inside the home. 

Rodriguez was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, cops said. Before being put behind bars he was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash, they said.

A candlelight vigil was held last night for Mendoza.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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