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Sister Of Driver In Valley Village Crash Says Her Brother Blames Himself For Tragedy

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The sister of the driver in the deadly Valley Village crash that led to two Good Samaritans being electrocuted says her brother blames himself for their deaths.

Arman Samsonian, 19, sheared a fire hydrant with his SUV and knocked over a light pole, causing the water near his car to be electrified. Two women who rushed in to rescue him—Irma Zamora and Stacey Lee Schreiber—died, and others including Samsonian were shocked by the water.

Samsonian didn't go on camera, but his sister Ani Samsonian did to speak with CBS Los Angeles. She said her brother blames himself for the accident and the deaths that ensued.

"He's thinking about the families. He was blaming himself, but I told him 'It's not your fault that there were live wires and nobody knew about it,'" she said.

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Samsonian could face reckless driving charges. Authorities have also alleged that Samsonian was street racing at the time of the crash. A friend of his was driving in a car nearby at the time of the crash. But his sister denies that he was racing. A legal analyst at CBS L.A. suggests that Samsonian could even end up with murder charges, depending on whether Samsonian cooperates and his driving record. Of course, he points out the defense could easily argue that the Good Samaritans voluntarily rushed in to rescue him.

She said that Samsonian wasn't thinking about the legal consequences that he could face, but the families of the two women who were killed: “He told me to please get flowers and take it to the site. He really feels bad for these poor women."

The families and survivors of the crash have to think about bills as well as the horrific events of last week. The city will be billing the estates of the deceased and the injured survivors who were treated at the scene or transported to the hospital, according to a report from City News Service:


The city's municipal code does not allow billing exemptions for good Samaritans, or the victims of violent crime, fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey told CNS. That means people who get shot in a drive-by attack and who get treated and transported to a hospital by city fire paramedics get charged for the services they received, he said. "We can't decide who's innocent, who gets a bill and who doesn't," Humphrey said. "We have no control over this. We are mandated by the city council and the mayor to bill citizens for the services rendered by paramedics and that's what we do."

UPDATE 8/26: City Might Waive Its Bills For Electrocuted Good Samaritans