A possibly drunk driver in Tarzana rear-ended a car near a freeway onramp on Dec. 19, fatally injuring a Los Angeles woman in a chain-reaction accident. Police say the suspect driver was drinking beer following the car accident, and may have been drinking prior to the deadly crash.

The accident took place on Ventura Boulevard, near the 101 Freeway. The victim was near the southbound ramp and was about to turn onto it when she was struck from behind by a second car.

Traffic was heavy and the victim’s car was slammed into other five other vehicles. Seven vehicles were affected by the accident in all. The victim died of her injuries. She was 64.

Investigators quickly learned that the driver of the car that started the chain reaction was spotted buying beer at a nearby gas station shortly afterward. He allegedly was drinking a beer when police tracked him down. Whether he had any drugs or alcohol before the accident is not yet clear.

The accident was still under investigation, and the suspect had not been arrested. A detective said that it would be a while before all physical evidence and witness testimony was received and analyzed.

It was shortly after 11 p.m. when the accident occurred, so it is possible that darkness was a factor. However, nighttime simply means that drivers need to pay closer attention to their surroundings. It is not an excuse for causing injury or death to other drivers, passengers, cyclists or pedestrians. And drinking and driving is not safe at any time of day.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Woman killed in multi-car crash in Tarzana is identified,” Ruben Vives, Dec. 19, 2013