USC junior killed, two injured in car crash

A 22-year old engineering student was killed in a two-car collision early Sunday morning at an intersection about five miles southwest of USC’s University Park Campus.

Xinhai Huang, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, was an honor student and on the Dean’s list, according to a statement from Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering.

“We grieve for a promising life cut short, and for his parents who have lost their son,” the statement said.

The collision occurred at 2:50 a.m. when the driver of a Ford Explorer ran through a red light at Hyde Park Boulevard and West Boulevard, striking a Ford Mustang in which Huang was a passenger, said Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant Andy Neiman.

The driver of the Mustang carrying Huang sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Neiman said. Huang was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Yortsos’ statement urged students, faculty and staff seeking support to approach counselors at Student Counseling Services or the Center for Work and Family Life.

“We will work closely with the university to make arrangements and celebrate Xinhai’s life in the near future,” the statement said.

Neiman said the Explorer driver, 23, is currently hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday afternoon that an LAPD detective said the Explorer driver will be arrested on suspicion of drunk driving upon her release from the hospital.

Despite this report, Officer Carol Mitchell, an investigator at the South Traffic Division, said Monday evening that police were still investigating whether the Explorer driver was under the influence.

“It’s still yet to be determined,” Mitchell said.