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100 mph reached in Studio City crash that killed 3, witnesses say


Witnesses told Los Angeles Police Department investigators that the driver of a BMW that crashed into a Studio City pizzeria early Sunday was traveling close to 100 mph.

The crash killed the three people inside the vehicle, including Jason Shmelnik, a Los Angeles resident who appeared on "Dancing With the Stars'" "Champion Kids" in 2007.

Shmelnik was not driving the car, police said, and the other victims have not been identified yet.

The car was traveling eastbound on Ventura Boulevard when the driver lost control and went onto the sidewalk, shearing two pepper trees, a fire hydrant and a gas line, which caught fire, before crashing into Reno's Pizzeria around 3:30 a.m., police said.

The three victims had been drinking at a nearby restaurant before the accident, according to reports.

A friend told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that the driver had been inebriated but told others he could make the short drive to his nearby home.


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Photo: A man, who declined to give his name, grieves at a memorial for the three victims who were killed in the crash early Sunday. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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