fbpx Child, female pedestrian killed on SoCal freeways over holiday weekend
The Votes Are In!
2021 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Vote for your favorite business!
2022 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Start voting →
Happy... whatever makes you happy!
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Home / News / Crime / Child, female pedestrian killed on SoCal freeways over holiday weekend

Child, female pedestrian killed on SoCal freeways over holiday weekend

CHP
by
share with

A child whose death is under investigation was struck by multiple vehicles on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Santa Clarita, and a woman walking on the San Bernardino (10) Freeway was struck and killed in West Covina, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The child’s death was reported about 3:40 a.m. Saturday on the northbound 5 Freeway at Weldon Canyon Road, and Michael Branch, 39, of Hawthorne was arrested about two hours later and charged with “cruelty to a child causing great injury/death,”  the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.

A motorist called the CHP to report they struck an unknown stationary object that was blocking the roadway, City News Service reported.

Investigators determined that the object was actually a child who had been fatally struck by several vehicles.

The suspect was in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear at an arraignment hearing Wednesday 8:30 a.m. in Department S of the San Fernando Courthouse, according to the Signal.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact the CHP Newhall Area Office at 661-600-1600.

Early Tuesday, a female pedestrian was struck and killed on the 10 Freeway in West Covina in what may be a hit-and-run incident.

According to the CHP, a witness told officers at 12:41 a.m. that a woman — who authorities later identified as 40-year-old Pomona resident Rachel Vargas — wearing dark clothing was walking in the slow lane of the eastbound 10 Freeway near the Holt Avenue on-ramp, City News Service reported.

Six minutes later a witness reported to the CHP that the woman was down in front of a white pickup truck equipped with a camper shell near the right shoulder. Witnesses also said a man got out of the truck and walked around before getting back into the truck and driving away.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the CHP.

A SigAlert was in effect about 1 a.m., shutting down eastbound lanes 4 and 5 for the CHP investigation, and all lanes were reopened at 4:50 a.m.

Updated July 7, 2022, 10:24 p.m.

More from Crime

Skip to content