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

December 15, 2010 |  8:22 am

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

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