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Driver in crash is in critical but stable condition

Woman ejected from car during accident is in Pasadena hospital. She has fractures and serious head trauma.

December 27, 2006|By Jason Wells

BURBANK — Narine Bagdasaryan, the 21-year-old Burbank woman who was ejected from her car and into a river 50 feet below after crashing atop an onramp bridge on Friday, was in critical, but stable condition as of Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Bagdasaryan suffered multiple fractures and serious head trauma as a result of the accident, said Connie Matthews, a spokeswoman for Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

The accident occurred at about 7:50 a.m. Friday on the Colorado Street on- and offramp to the Golden State (5) Freeway when Bagdasaryan, who was exiting onto Colorado from the northbound 5 Freeway, lost control of her late-model Mercedes-Benz sedan, which headed eastbound and crossed over a raised median dividing lanes, where she was hit by an oncoming westbound delivery truck.

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That collision sent Bagdasaryan's car into the bridge's railing, ejecting her from the car and into two feet of water in the Los Angeles River 50 feet below, police said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Derek Petersen, who was on the scene, confirmed Bagdasaryan was not wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident.

Bagdasaryan was taken to Huntington Hospital via ambulance.

Matthews said she could not elaborate on Bagdasaryan's condition or treatment, citing family wishes.

"They just want everyone to know that she was a very loving family woman," Matthews said, adding that the family "was praying for a Christmas miracle."

Matthews did confirm that Bagdasaryan was not on life support.

Initial media reports said there was more than one passenger and that Bagdasaryan may have crawled from the vehicle and accidentally fallen from the bridge.

CHP officers confirmed Bagdasaryan was ejected through a car window and that she was traveling alone.

The driver of the delivery truck, Bill Neilan, said Bagdasaryan seemed to be driving "pretty fast" as she exited the northbound 5.

The truck's front end was badly damaged and Neilan said he was suffering from a sore neck while at the scene.

A witness who had been driving behind Neilan used a cellphone to call 911 before they spotted Bagdasaryan in the river below, he said.

"There was somebody down there," he said. "They weren't moving."

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