Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 2:38 am | Overcast 57º


Local News

Alleged Driver Arrested in Hit-Run Death of Adrianna Bachan

Woman held on $1 million bail, husband sought as the suspect who threw another victim off the hood

Los Angeles police have arrested a woman they suspect was the driver in the hit-and-run collision that killed Adrianna Bachan, a 19-year-old USC freshman from Montecito, and badly injured a companion. The woman’s husband is also being sought for questioning.

Claudia Cabrera, 30, of South Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday night and booked for investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter, police officials said at a Friday afternoon news conference. Cabrera is being held on $1 million bail at the Van Nuys women’s jail and a case will be presented Monday to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, LAPD spokesman Richard French said.

Bachan and Marcus Garfinkle, 19, of Scottsdale, Ariz., were walking in a marked crosswalk on Jefferson Boulevard at Hoover Street, on the north side of the USC campus, about 3 a.m. Sunday when a car ran a red light and struck them. Bachan died of her injuries. Witnesses reported that the car drove about 400 feet with Garfinkle embedded in the hood and windshield before the driver stopped and a passenger got out and threw him to the ground. Garfinkle remained hospitalized Friday in serious but stable condition. Among his injuries are two broken legs.

Police officials said Cabrera was driving with a suspended license for unpaid traffic tickets. Although the car — a dark green 2000 Infiniti four-door sedan, California license plate 4DUG665 — has not been found, police said tipsters have reported that the windshield has been replaced.

Also being sought is Cabrera’s husband, Josue Luna, 31, who police say may have been the passenger who dislodged Garfinkle from the hood and then reportedly held the windshield in place with his hand as the car sped away. Luna is described as 5-foot-9 and 245 pounds, with a “stocky” build and a shaved head. Court records show he has a 1995 conviction for carrying a concealed firearm.

Police said the couple’s 7-month-old infant also was in the car at the time of the collision.

Rewards totaling $235,000 had been offered for information in the case and police said Friday that the money was a factor in the tips that led to the arrest. The Los Angeles City Council committed a $75,000 reward, USC pledged $50,000 and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors added $10,000. An anonymous donor provided an additional $100,000 on Thursday.

Bachan, the daughter of Carmen and James Bachan of Montecito, was a 2008 graduate of Santa Barbara High, where she captained the girls’ soccer team as a senior. She played on the 2007-08 Santa Barbara Soccer Club Girls Under 19 Premier team, and she and her mother were longtime snow-cone booth volunteers at the Children’s Creative Project’s I Madonnari festival at the Santa Barbara Mission. Bachan was an environmental studies major at USC and a new member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1300 East Valley Road.

Donations to a memorial fund established for Bachan’s family can be made at Business First Bank, Adrianna Bachan Memorial Fund, 1035 State St., Santa Barbara 93101.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >