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BREAKING NEWS: Manslaughter Charges To Be Filed Against Driver In July Fourth Fatal Crash

fataltctwoeditBREAKING NEWS - After several months of continuing attention by determined investigators, vehicular manslaughter charges have been filed against Canyon Country resident Melissa Brown in connection with a fatal traffic collision last Fourth of July.


The District Attorney's office has filed one felony count of vehicular manslaughter and one infraction count of running a red light in connection with the collision at Valencia Boulevard in front of Islands restaurant that killed 43-year-old Matilde Garnica of Newhall and injured several others, including some of her children.

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Brown allegedly ran a red light at Valencia Boulevard and the mall entrance, hitting a Dodge Durango and spun out of control, into the crowd of spectators, killing Garnica instantly.

According to Detective Jeff Maag of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department traffic division, Brown, 23, will be charged with a felony based on her prior driving history and previous citations for similar offenses.

In July, Sgt. Richard Cohen told KHTS that detectives were going to make sure this investigation was thorough.

“There are a lot of witnesses for us to contact and some people have video of the accident that we need to review,” he explained. “It’s too lengthy an investigation and we don’t want to rush it. If we present it to the district attorney, we want to make sure everything is complete and that we have a good case.”

Brown is scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court on Wednesday, February 16 for arraignment.