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Sisters killed in hit-and-run while offering help at accident

October 21, 1997

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Always together in life, sisters Fabiola and Laura Gudino wound up together in death, too.

College students and teachers’ aides at the same elementary school, the sisters were killed early Sunday when they stopped on their way home from a party to help at a highway accident scene. A friend of theirs was injured.The driver fled and has not been found.

``They were always together,″ said a red-eyed Lorena Rubio, the Gudinos’ older sister.

All three sisters worked together at 49th Street Elementary School. Laura, 21, was majoring in education at California State University and Fabiola, 18, had just begun classes at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

``Life was good,″ said their older sister.

The two sisters and their friend pulled over near a sport-utility vehicle that had flipped over on the westbound lanes of the Pomona Freeway. They were walking on the freeway when they were hit by a subcompact as it swerved to avoid the overturned vehicle. The car then veered into the center divider, sideswiped the friend’s car and fled, the California Highway Patrol said.

The people in the vehicle that had overturned suffered minor injuries.

The accident was one in a string of five hit-run crashes in four days in the Los Angeles area. Besides the Gudino sisters, they claimed the lives of a 5-year-old boy who was running from an ice cream truck, a 49-year-old man who was in a crosswalk and an 18-year-old who was hit from behind while riding his bicycle.

One suspect also died, a veteran LAPD officer who killed himself Friday as investigators arrived at his home to ask him about a hit and run accident a day earlier that seriously injured a mother and child.

Despite the crashes, California Highway Patrol officials say the number of hit-run crimes resulting in death and injury is down in the state and in Los Angeles County.

Hit-run drivers were involved in 45 fatal accidents and 3,560 injury accidents in the county in the first half of 1997. Those numbers are well under half the totals for all of 1996.

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