Burbank this week mourned Evonnie Nicole Caceres, a 24-year-old Saugus woman who was the victim of a high-speed car accident Sunday.
A memorial for Caceres was placed at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Magnolia Boulevard where she died, and family, friends and community members gathered daily this week, bringing flowers and candles to remember her.
She was the front-seat passenger of a speeding Dodge Challenger, which triggered a two-vehicle crash at a Burbank intersection Sunday afternoon, leaving Caceres with fatal injuries, Burbank Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Stephen Turner said in a report Tuesday.
Witnesses reported seeing the Dodge accelerate through the intersection at Victory and Magnolia boulevards at about 2:15 p.m. Sunday, just as a black Nissan SUV was completing a left eastbound turn, according to Turner.
The Dodge then struck a curb as well as a traffic pole and power pole on the northeast corner of the intersection.
Officers dispatched to the scene found Caceres with significant injuries in the passenger seat of the Dodge, Turner said.
Paramedics rushed her to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead.
The man behind the wheel of the Dodge suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital, Turner said.
The driver of the Nissan, the lone occupant inside the vehicle, was not injured and stayed at the scene to cooperate with police.
A pedestrian standing near the corner of the crash was struck by debris and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
According to Turner, no charges have been filed in the accident.
The accident is the first of its kind in two years in Burbank. Residents last month remembered the tragic Glenoaks Boulevard accident, which left three young adults dead as their stationary vehicle was struck by vehicle engaged in street racing.
Killed in that Aug. 7, 2021, accident were 19-year-old Natalee Moghaddam of Calabasas, 20-year-old Jaiden Johnson of Burbank, and 21-year-old Cerain Baker of Pasadena, a John Burroughs High School graduate.
Since then, local advocates have ramped up efforts to prevent further traffic violence and death, as speeding and racing-related accidents have been on the rise in Burbank.
One standout organization, Together We Can, has worked with the city to help educate young drivers about the potential harm that follows bad driving practices.
“While our main focus has been to get drivers to slow down, it cannot be ignored that driving under the influence is a main player in car-related fatalities. We are heartbroken that another beautiful, young life ended way too soon all because of selfish, careless and dangerous actions on the part of the driver. We all need to keep fighting to make our streets safer for everyone,” said Lisa Martinez, an advocate with Together We Can.
Burbank police urged anyone with information regarding the crash to call them at (818) 238-3103. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
First published in the September 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.