VALLEY VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — The sister of the driver in the Valley Village crash that killed two good Samaritans said her brother blames himself for the accident, but he wasn’t street racing.
Arman Samsonian, 19, drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and light pole on Magnolia Boulevard Wednesday night, which resulted in an electrically charged pool of water.
Stacey Schreiber, 39, and Irma Zamora, 40, were electrocuted as they rushed to help. Six others were injured.
Police said Samsonian could face reckless driving charges after witnesses reported him speeding and possibly street racing.
“He was not racing,” said Samsonian’s sister, Ani.
She said her brother tried to help both women who were shocked to death.
“He said that he saw her lying down, so he tried to help her, and he got shocked, too,” said Ani.
She said Samsonian feels sorry for the families affected by the crash.
“He told me to please get flowers and take it to the site. He really feels bad for these poor women,” said Ani.
CBS2/KCAL9 legal analyst Steve Meister said the driver’s record and cooperation with investigators could influence any charges.
“Killing a good Samaritan or causing the death of a good Samaritan when they’re trying to do something to help somebody else could lead to a murder charge,” he said.
If charges are pressed, Meister said, “the defense is going to say that there is an intervening cause in that the good Samaritans decided to go over there on their own volition and didn’t know the water was electrified.”
Ani said her brother isn’t thinking about legal consequences right now.
“He’s thinking about the families. He was blaming himself, but I told him ‘It’s not your fault that there were live wires and nobody knew about it,’” she said.
Ani said Samsonian would never want to hurt anyone, but knows the crash carries lifelong consequences.
“Everyone involved in this is going to be changed forever. Nobody is going to look at life the same way,” she said.