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Fatal Crash Claims Palmdale Man

Alcohol suspected in driver's erratic behavior.


A Palmdale man died in an early-morning crash when his car was rear-ended on the northbound 14 freeway north of Agua Dulce Canyon Road.

The 44-year old man, who has not been identified pending notification of relatives, was backing up a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier in the #2 lane at approximately 1:15 a.m. when he was struck from behind by a silver BMW 350 driven by Rafael Hernandez, 33, also of Palmdale.

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CHP Officer John Lutz said that it is believed that the driver of the Cavalier had been drinking. Lutz also said that CHP dispatch had received calls about a wrong-way driver and a disabled vehicle in the vicinity of the crash and were enroute to the location when the fatal crash occurred.

Both vehicles came to rest within the roadway, blocking the #2 and carpool lanes. When the CHP arrived, they discovered the driver of the Cavalier was not breathing. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

Hernandez was not injured, but complained of pain to his leg and nose. The northbound lanes of the freeway were closed for approximately 40 minutes. This collision is being investigated as an alcohol-related incident.