Vehicle Accident near Weldon Canyon Road Left Michael Branch, Veronda Gladney Arrested

SANTA CLARITA, CA (July 15, 2022) – On Saturday, 7-year-old Tanuneka Starnes was killed in a traffic crash on 5 Freeway.

According to reports, the incident occurred on July 2, around 3:40 am. Starnes was riding in a 1999 Lincoln Navigator that was driven by her mother, 28-year-old Veronda Gladney. Her mother’s boyfriend, 39-year-old Michael Branch was also in the car. For reasons currently unknown, Starnes fell out of the vehicle, through a broken back window, and landed on the highway.

Consequently, multiple vehicles ran over the 7-year-old girl, while traveling at freeway speeds.

Soon after, EMS arrived and pronounced the young victim dead at the scene.

After the initial investigation, authorities stated that she was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Meanwhile, authorities took Branch and Gladney into custody and charged them with child endangerment.


Our warm and sincerest sympathies go out to the friends and family of the Tanuneka Starnes. May the loving memories of your loved one give you strength in the days ahead.


Losing a loved one in an accident can have devastating effects on the emotional and financial well-being of those left behind. Let the wrongful death attorneys at Sweet James help you during this trying time. Everyone at Sweet James strongly believes each client’s case is unique and deserves full individual attention. They will fight to achieve the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve. Call their offices today at (800) 975-3435 for a free and confidential case evaluation. They are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through email, text, and online chat. Click here to request a police report.

For more accident news, click here.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly