Passenger Killed When Car Slams Into Tree in Woodland Hills

The Mercedes Benz collided with a tree early Friday in a Woodland Hills neighborhood

A 21-year-old man was killed early Friday when the car in which he was a passenger crashed head-on into a tree in the front yard of a San Fernando Valley home. 

The driver of the older-model Mercedes Benz was extricated by fire-rescue personnel after the 2 a.m. crash in the 5300 block of Don Pio Drive in Woodland Hills, according to police. The driver, also in his 20s, was in critical condition.

Based on observations of the driver at the hospital, he might have been under the influence of alcohol, according to police. Both passengers were not wearing seatbelts, LAPD Capt. Maureen Ryan said.

"I saw the car against the tree and a guy laying outside asking for help," said witness Matthew Roysner.

Junior Flores, of Canoga Park, was identified as the deceased victim by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

The crash took place in a residential neighborhood where the posted speed limit is 25 mph. However, Ryan said that because it was a narrow, curvy road with speed bumps, there are signs that suggest a 15 mph speed limit.

"Much, much faster than 15 miles per hour," said LAPD Detective Bill Bustos when asked about the estimated speed of the vehicle.

The vehicle side-swiped a parked car before colliding with the tree, police said.

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Residents told NBC4 they often see drivers traveling at speeds around 40 mph on the street.

A person claiming to be the sister of Flores said on Facebook that there would be a food sale on Sunday at Lanark Street and Owensmouth Avenue to raise funds for his funeral.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

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