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Innocent motorist killed in suspected street racing crash in West Hills

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A woman was killed Friday afternoon when a motorist suspected of street racing lost control of his car and crashed in West Hills, police said.

About 4 p.m., two or three cars were racing north on Valley Circle Boulevard when one of the drivers lost control and plowed into a Toyota Prius driving west on Vanowen Street, said Officer Mike Lopez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

The driver of the Prius died. Authorities did not identify her.

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The man who drove the car that struck her was treated for injuries at a hospital and is in custody, Lopez said.

Last week, the California Highway Patrol arrested 11 people and impounded 25 cars in a crackdown on a so-called takeover by street racers in Granada Hills. Dozens gathered Saturday evening at San Fernando Mission and Balboa boulevards to watch drivers perform doughnuts in the intersection.

CHP officers arrived to break up the illegal gathering and scuffles erupted. Two officers and a suspect were injured.

Law enforcement officials say the COVID-19 pandemic has emboldened street racers, who have turned lightly traveled streets into speedways and intersections into playgrounds to perform doughnuts, burnouts and other dangerous stunts.

In October, a pickup flipped at a takeover in Costa Mesa, killing one of its passengers.

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