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Suspected drunk driver arrested in fatal accident in Compton

April 25, 2010 |  5:38 pm

A 22-year-old Compton man is in Los Angeles County Jail on suspicion of drunk driving and felony hit-and-run after his van allegedly struck two teenage girls, killing one and seriously injuring the other, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The accident occurred about 12:40 a.m. as the girls were walking along 154th Street near Aprilia Avenue, heading home after a party.

Chanel Lenard, 16, was pronounced dead at the scene and the other girl sustained severe injuries, said Deputy Benjamin Grubb of the Compton station. The girl was being treated at St. Francis Medical Center and was expected to survive despite the severity of her injuries, authorities said.

Witnesses told authorities that the pedestrians were struck by a gray Mercury Voyager minivan traveling along the residential street at 60 mph.

The gray van and its driver, 22-year-old Juan Garay of Compton, were found a few blocks away, Grubb said. Grubb said Garay failed a field sobriety test.

--Carol J. Williams