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Glendale mayor says distracted driving at 'epidemic' level in Glendale, citing charge in pedestrian death

20-year-old Arrested in Texting While Driving Death of Elderly Pedestrian

Glendale's mayor said the death of a pedestrian in a traffic collision that allegedly involved a texting driver who was arrested and charged Tuesday reflects an "epidemic" of distracted motorists and accidents involving pedestrians in Glendale.

"Driving is more than getting from one place to another, it's also about understanding that you control a 2-ton weapon," Mayor Ara Najarian said Tuesday night at the Glendale City Council meeting.

Ani Voskanian, 20, was charged after an investigation into the Sept. 15 accident that killed an 80-year-old Glendale man, Misak Ranjbar. Police say she was texting at the time she drove through a stop sign and killed Ranjbar in a crosswalk.

According to a statement by the L.A. County district attorney's office, Voskanian was charged Tuesday with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter. Bail was set at $50,000.

Voskanian was taken into custody at her home Tuesday morning, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz told the Glendale News Press.

"This is not one of those things in which you intended to go kill someone.... This is one those things that your actions carry serious consequences," Lorenz said.


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--Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Photo: Driver at the scene of the accident. Credit: Times Community News

Comments () | Archives (32)

Enough with the signaling out Armenians, just because this girl is Armenian does not mean other types of ethnicities do not have the same types of crimes put against them. AND obviously the chances of Armenians being involved in these types of accidents is high because there are a lot of Armenian residents in Glendale. Yes she is stupid for doing this and she deserves to get into trouble for it, but that doesn't mean other people don't text and drive just because they are lucky enough to not hit someone doesn't mean they aren't doing something dangerous. And for the person who said that Armenians invaded Glendale 25 years ago, what does it really matter if there are a lot of one type of culture, is having a community out of their native country so bad? Honestly do you think that America is only entitled to those who came from Europe and are considered "white". Those Armenians came here because they are forced to become a diaspora and are hanging on to try and make themselves a united group of people when doing so in their native country is not easily done. You can't blame people for wanting better lives.
AND THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SEPARATE RACES. We are all HUMAN, thats it. Ask any anthropologist.
You guys all wait around and see that an Armenian is involved in something and then comment and say "oh see these Armenian's are the causes of every problem in glendale" its really disgusting and makes me feel like being Armenian is somehow a disease. And no one should feel like that. Just because you are behind a computer doesn't mean you have the right to say such hurtful things.

I don't doubt Glendale has a host of terrible, terrible drivers, but y'all haven't seen anything until you come to Fresno. Drivers here are BAD! I was driving home one night and, had I been driving half a mile more per hour would have been blindsided by some idiot who completely ran the red light (my light had been green for awhile, this person just wasn't even looking). Makes me thank god for small miracles.

Anyway, the point is that everyone, white, Armenian, Mexican, El Salvadoran, French, Spanish, South African, American, whatever, EVERYONE should obey traffic laws. You are not above the law. You are not so special that a red light doesn't apply to you. Getting somewhere two minutes faster doesn't make your day two minutes longer.

No matter where you go, when there is a majority of any certain race or ethnicity, the statistics will be against that group of people. So, that said, the drivers in Glendale ARE horrible, statistically speaking. A lot of the residents in Glendale just don't get it. Statically, Glendale is one of the worst cities in America when it comes to traffic accidents. The police are overwhelmed by the traffic violators in the city. The city council has chopped the police force. Is it any wonder why the police can't keep up with the drivers in Glendale? An officer can stop a driver for a violation and watch ten more violations go by while he/she is writing the ticket. The drivers do seem to be uncaring. Most of the licensed drivers don't even have a clue to the driving laws in California. To the person that thinks the Armenian population is 20%, try again, it's closer to 65%.

Glendale is a horrible place to drive. I can't even count the many times I would have been hit by someone if it was for me switching lanes or honkin my horn like crazy.

Here is a conversation that went on at work. Eventhough I do not work in Glendale, the office if full with at least 50% armenian people.

Coworker#1: did you hear about the girl texting while driving and killed the poor 80 year old man?
Coworker#2: oh yeas that's my friend's daughter
Coworker#1: really? Well what's going to happen to the young girl? I read the newspaper and she may face very serious charges!
Coworker#2: oh no don't worry! She comes from a very good family which are well off financially. They spoke to the old man's son and offered a certain amount of money so they wouldn't press charges because the girl is a very good girl And has her whole life ahead of her. So the son agreed to take the money. Either way the old man was already very old and lived a long time but as for the young girl she still has a bright future ahead of her and will not go to jail.

This conversation was on 12/15/2010

Now yesterday 12/23/2010 the same coworker that knows the young girl's family said the following:"remember the young lady who hit the old man? Well she went to court and her friends went to do a protest outside the court! It happens to b that she was not texting while driving. When the police got there her phone was in her purse. Maybe she was reading a text but she did not respond back and they can't prove that so let's see what happens..."

The ignorance of some people is just incredible. #1 would this case be different if she killed a 8 yr old boy instead of a 80yr old man? Regardless of age how do you not know if maybe this old man was looking forward to Christmas? Either way a live was lost due to negligence.
#2 sometimes money can't buy you freedom. And I hope in Ani's case it doesn't.
#3 how could they not prove she was texting? Are you serious?! I remember when I used to receive my cell phone bill that would show me every single call/text made or received, the time and from who or to whom. Regardless if she was jut "reading" a message it was long enough for her to not see a big red stop sign or notice lotus poor man walking....

*notice poor man walking...
We all heard how texting and driving is similar to drunk driving. If you really think about it there's lots of similarities. As for both at time your driving in your mind you think it's ok. So many people texting and driving have gotten home safe same with drunk driving. In both situations you think you can do both and it's harmless. But until you get a wake up call you won't realize how bad it is what you were doing.

As for the young girl... She might have been smart and had her future ahead of her but her negligence have led to this consequence. So many young people who had a college future or almost done fulfilling their dream have made little mistakes like this and ruin everything for themselves. She should pay for what she did. Because at the end of the day not only was she texting and driving she also broke the law. She did not stop for that stop sign...

Do the crime, do the time. Doesn't matter what nationality. That's not the issue. Let's stick to the topic. Her lawyer claims "she was not texting," interesting since the POLICE investigated and said she was. Your texting caused someone a life and a family a lifetime or grief. Hope you're pleased with yourself.

Armenians are clearly responsible for every texting while driving fatality. I mean just check out the link on Martin Burt Kuehl and Jeffrey Woods. Oh wait, they're NOT Armenian.

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