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Driver faces murder charges after chase that killed 2-year-old

December 10, 2012 |  1:58 pm

A Palmdale man faces murder charges after he allegedly led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended when his car slammed into another vehicle, killing a 2-year-old girl and seriously injuring her mother.

Marvin Travon Hicks, 45, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon on charges of murder and felony evading an officer causing injury, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Authorities said Hicks' car reached 100 mph during the chase, which began about 5 p.m. Thursday when a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy saw the Toyota speeding down Sierra Highway just before Avenue J in Lancaster. The detective saw the vehicle cross the road's center divider, but could not pursue the car himself because he wasn't in a patrol car.

He notified other units, and members of a sheriff's gang task force pursued the car, which by then was speeding down Avenue I at 70 to 85 mph, authorities said. The driver ran at least one red light, at Avenue I and 10th Street West, authorities said, and broadsided a Lexus carrying a 37-year-old Lancaster woman and her daughter.

The speeding car was more than a block ahead of the nearest patrol car when it collided with the other car, authorities said.

The girl, identified by prosecutors as Madison Ruano, was pronounced dead at Antelope Valley Hospital. Her mother, Tina Ruano, was seriously injured but is expected to survive.

Authorities said Hicks was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

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