Fatal Crash Stirs Demonstration; Council Pledges Solutions to Speeding

Sabrina Castro (second from left) addresses reporters at an anti-speeding rally in front of Burbank City Hall on Tuesday. Cerain Baker, son of her boyfriend, Tony Baker, was one of three people killed in last week’s crash. (Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader)

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

In its first meeting since last week’s car crash that killed three people, the Burbank City Council asked the city manager to gather potential measures addressing speeding on Glenoaks Boulevard.
Since the matter was not on the council’s agenda on Tuesday evening, the panel was legally prohibited from discussing its ideas in depth. Among the members’ requests were a discussion on installing traffic lights along the sprawling thoroughfare, compiling speeding and accident data for the city’s busiest roads, and seeking suggestions from the community. City staff members could also bring other ideas to the council.
Department officials won’t be able to prepare the agenda item by the council’s next meeting on Aug. 24, according to city spokesman Jonathan Jones, due to the number of agencies involved.

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Deadly Road Incident Renews Concerns About Speeding

Workers pull the broken front half a shattered Kia onto a towing ramp, where crushed debris have also been hauled.
Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
A Tuesday night crash that the Burbank Police Department believes was caused by street racing resulted in the deaths of three people who were in a car that was not involved in the possible race. Workers spent much of Wednesday morning removing crash debris.

After police reported that a car crash that killed three people this week appeared to have resulted from a street race on Glenoaks Boulevard, several residents have said that speeding in that area is far from uncommon.

Officers and paramedics responded to reports of a collision and a vehicle on fire on Tuesday at about 11:50 p.m., according to the Burbank Police Department. First responders found three people who had been ejected from a silver Volkswagen that was not involved in the suspected racing, pronouncing them dead at the scene.

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Departing Chief Recalls BPD’s Challenges, Reforms

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse will retire on Tuesday after decades in law enforcement. LaChasse came to the Police Department while it was facing allegations of discrimination and use of excessive force.

On Tuesday, Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse will trade in his badge and gun for a stack of travel brochures.

The Santa Clarita resident has spent several decades working in law enforcement, including more than 11 years leading the Burbank Police Department. Over time, LaChasse said, he’s collected plenty of Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines, filling his mind with images of travel destinations he’s wanted to visit but never had the time.

After his retirement next week, he will. His role will be filled by current Deputy Chief Michael Albanese until City Manager Justin Hess selects a long-term replacement.

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Local Gun-Related Crimes Increase as Pandemic Subsides

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Burbank police responded to an incident in which a man was shot and killed in his apartment in late January. A significant rise in the number of recent gun-related crimes appears to be partly due to the easing of pandemic restrictions, a police spokesman said.

Burbank has experienced a striking increase in the number of gun-related crimes so far this year compared with the same period last year, according to local police.

There were three crimes involving a firearm from the beginning of 2020 through May 18 that year, Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department told the Leader. In the same period this year, there were 15 such incidents. Nine of those were related to a robbery, attempted robbery or carjacking.

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