ENCINO (CBSLA) — Two people were killed when the Lamborghini they were in slammed into a tree in Encino.

The luxury sports car was destroyed after it slammed into a tree on Burbank Boulevard between Balboa and Woodley at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Los Angeles police.

(credit: CBS)

Authorities say the Lamborghini was going 100 mph on a curvy stretch of Burbank Boulevard through the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. The sports car — which can retail starting at $200,000 — was making a left turn onto Burbank just east of Hayvenhurst when it struck a 2018 Jeep Cherokee, then slammed into a tree and caught fire.

The force of the impact split the Lamborghini in half, ejecting the driver.

A 25-year-old male driver and a 19-year-old female passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. They were later identified as Joel David White of Long Beach and Luiza Karakhanyan.

Friends told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Amy Johnson that Karakhanyan was an aspiring model and that White was a photographer. The expensive 2016 car was reportedly a rental used for photo shoots.

Alex Lopez was one of about a dozen people who came to the crash site to mourn his friend Joel.

“Unbelievable,” he said, “unbelievable.”

He was at a loss for where to mourn his good buddy.

“When something like this happens,” he said, “there’s no where else to mourn.”

Phone records showed that Lopez was the last person to speak to White by phone.

Another friend — Colton Freedman — said he knew White most of his life.

“I’ve known Joel since he was a young kid,” says Freedman. “He’s always been a dreamer. He’s worked so hard to get to a point like this in his life and [to] be taken from us is heart-wrenching.”

He shared a childhood photo of he and White.

“It’s still so sad  to see someone who was at such a great place in his life, to be taken away,” Freedman says.

The crash remains under investigation.

The driver of the SUV, a 36-year-old Los Angeles man, suffered only minor injuries. He remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

Comments (2)
  1. Stuart Watson says:


    Other reports have the Jeep making the left turn. That’s more credible that a Lamborghini making a left turn at 100 mph.

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