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Hit and Run Driver Arrested in Motorcycle Passenger Death

Photo by Peggy Archer via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Casha Cheema, 25 of Irvine, was arrested and held in lieu of $50,000 bail after fleeing the scene of a car crash that killed a passenger on a motorcycle on the 405 freeway in Culver City last night.

The crash occurred around 5:40 p.m. on Wednesday on the southbound 405 freeway just south of Culver Blvd. CHP reported according to City News Service. Yuliana Gutierrez, 24 of South Gate, died at the hospital according to the coroner's office.

Gutierrez was riding on a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle driven by an unnamed 30-year old man from Hawthorne. The motorcycle was in the carpool lane when Cheema, driving a 2006 Toyota Prius in the fast lane, swerved onto the carpool lane to avoid traffic according to CHP reports.

"As she began to move into the HOV lane, she did not see (the motorcycle) and sideswiped (it), causing (it) to be pushed into the center divider wall,'' according to the CHP's preliminary report.

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Cheema initially stopped to check on the motorcyclists then allegedly fled onto the 90 freeway just as CHP units arrived at the scene. Witnessed pointed out Cheema, and she was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving injury or death.

Gutierrez suffered major head trauma and died about five hours after the accident according to the CHP. The male driver of the motorcycle only suffered minor injuries.