More Details About Victims of 'very violent, very volatile' Deadly Crash Into Studio City Pizzeria
The three revelers who lost their lives early Sunday morning in a fiery crash into a Studio City restaurant have been identified, and authorities have a bit more information about the deadly accident.
Inside the BMW speeding eastbound on Ventura Boulevard at Tujunga Avenue were Pasha Voldokovich, Jason Shmelnik and Ekatrina Uspshanaya. Voldokovich was behind the wheel, and the three were headed to a private after party at a home after attending a friend's 21st birthday gathering at Romanov Restaurant. Uspshanaya reportedly had flown in from New York specifically to attend the celebration.
"The vehicle apparently lost control and crashed into at least two trees, shearing them off at the base, which tells us this was a very violent, very volatile, high-speed accident, said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman, according to KTLA. The accident caused a fireball to ignite.
The jaws of life were used to extract the bodies."Beyond medical help, the trio were declared dead at the scene," explains the Los Angeles Fire Department.
"As of Sunday night, the Los Angeles Coroner's office positively identified only one" of the victims, which was 25-year-old Shmelnik, notes Studio City Patch.
Shmelnik "was an avid dancer who five years ago was showcased on 'Dancing With the Stars' as part of a 'Champion Kids' young dancer’s segment," reports CBS2.
The other two deceased were identified on Twitter and by friends, many of whom were among the estimated 80 people who gathered Sunday outside Reno's Pizzeria where a makeshift memorial had been set up. That gathering ultimately had to be broken up by the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Reno’s owner Nick Tsaturyan could not contain his emotions following the deadly crash. His son says he’s grateful the accident didn’t happen during business hours," adds CBS2.
Friends also say Voldokovich had been drinking, and they regretted not preventing him from driving. "He's an adult. He'll get there," friend Alexander Polansky told KTLA he remembered thinking when Voldokovich took off.
Investigators are working to determine what caused the crash, as well as toxicology reports.