BALDWIN PARK - A 16-year-old girl died and a 20-year-old man was severely injured in a violent solo-car crash on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway early Sunday, officials said.

Ashley Ruth Garcia of Bell was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which reported at 12:01 a.m. on the northbound 605 Freeway, just south of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, according to Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

She was a passenger in a 1995 Honda Del Sol being driven by a 20-year-old Bell man, California Highway Patrol Officer E. Bernal said in a written statement. The driver, who was thrown from the car in the crash, was hospitalized with major injuries.

The Del Sol was traveling at "a high rate of speed" in the carpool lane when, for reasons that remained under investigation, the driver lost control, Bernal said.

The car veered across all lanes of traffic and went off the roadway, he said. It struck a tree and wrought iron fence before coming to a rest on its roof.

The driver was thrown from the car in the crash and taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment of major injuries, Bernal said.

Firefighters pronounced Garcia dead at the scene at 12:39 a.m.

Officials shut down the right three lanes of the northbound 605 Freeway for about three hours following the fatal crash, according to CHP logs.

The cause of the crash was being investigated by officers from the CHP's East Los Angeles Office.


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