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HomeNewsUSC student fatally struck by suspected street racer in Los Angeles: cops

USC student fatally struck by suspected street racer in Los Angeles: cops


A straight-A college student was fatally struck by a driver suspected of street racing in Los Angeles, cops and distraught relatives said.

Arian Rahbar, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Southern California, was killed Saturday afternoon while strolling along a marked crosswalk across Jefferson Boulevard, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rahbar, who had just gotten some food, was sent airborne when he was hit in the south Los Angeles roadway by a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, whose driver had been racing a man in an Infiniti G37, LAPD South Traffic Division Det. Ryan Moreno told the newspaper.

Witnesses heard two cars revving their engines just prior to the deadly crash, Moreno said. The driver of the Dodge was identified as Ricardo Aguilar, 24, of Los Angeles, while Carlos Valdez Moscoso, 21, was allegedly behind the wheel of the Infiniti.

Arian Rahbar
Arian Rahbar, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Southern California, was killed while strolling along a crosswalk.
CBS

Both men were arrested on suspicion of murder and were set to be arraigned Tuesday. It’s unclear how fast the vehicles were traveling, but it was “definitely above the speed limit,” Moreno told the newspaper.

Rahbar, originally from Dunlap, Illinois, was majoring in computer science at USC and was set to intern at Facebook next summer, his grieving father said.

The accomplished, straight-A student “never did anything bad to anybody,” Sam Rahbar said.

“Racing on the street – they killed innocent people,” Rahbar said of the suspects. “An innocent kid.”

Eric Gray, a childhood friend, said Rahbar moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams.

“He was probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Gray told CBS Los Angeles. “He was one of those people that was just so pure – you would think, how could something like this ever happen to somebody like this?”

Gray said Rahbar’s death was especially traumatic since both vehicles appeared to belong to local car clubs known for street racing, the station reported.

Friends and locals remembered the life of USC student Arian Rahbar on December 12, 2021.
Friends and locals remembered the life of USC student Arian Rahbar on December 12, 2021.
CBS

“It’s devastating, really,” Gray told the station. “I’m angry that that situation was even possible to happen.”

Both vehicles were outfitted for street racing and the Hellcat was “pretty souped-up,” Moreno told NBC Los Angeles.

“It’s a problem we’re seeing more and more of lately,” Moreno said of illegal street races.

Police at the scene
Police say that Arian Rahbar was using the crosswalk on Jefferson blvd. when a street racer came flying down the street and hit him.
CBS

One witness told the station she and her children were “traumatized” by the deadly crash.

“We all witnessed this today, and I hope … I see a lot of police out here,” mother Tracy Dodson said. “I hope they really do something about this though, cause this could have happened to me or anybody around here.”

Both drivers stayed at the scene after Rahbar was struck near USC’s campus, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Rahbar’s death marked the city’s 257th traffic-related fatality as of late last month — a 22 percent jump compared to 2020 figures from the same time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the LAPD’s South Bureau, 102 people, including Rahbar, have died in traffic-related crashes – nearly a 25 percent surge from the previous year, according to the newspaper.

The scene of the fatal incident
Los Angeles Police Department detectives determined that Rahbar was struck by a Dodge Challenger that was racing an Infiniti G37.
CBS

“We haven’t had numbers like that, ever,” Moreno said. “It’s just so out of control right now.”

Two other pedestrians, identified as two homeless women, were struck by a Toyota Tacoma in the city’s Wilmington section less than 12 hours after Rahbar died. One of the victims died, while the other was fighting for her life, Moreno told the Times.

The driver involved in the crash, Alvaro Batres-Garcia, of Los Angeles, was arrested on a charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time, Moreno said.



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