Student Killed in Speed-Related Accident

Judy Del Castillo

Tina Uguryan, a recent graduate of Clark Magnet High School who attended classes at GCC, was killed in a traffic accident on the evening of Aug 13.

Uguryan, 18, was the passenger in a Nissan sports car driven by her boyfriend, Robert Vardanyan. Vardanyan, 21, was also killed in the collision. Both were residents of Glendale.

The accident occurred on the Colorado Street off-ramp from the southbound Golden State (5) freeway. Vardanyan was speeding and had just cut off a motorist before crashing into a tree, killing both himself and Uguryan. The off-ramp exit was closed for several hours as the accident was investigated and the wreckage cleared away.

Patrick Cleary, a resident of Atwater Village, said, “I drive the freeway everyday and the traffic through that stretch is pretty desperate in the right three lanes. When approaching Colorado, cars are merging into a single lane and everyone going 65 [mph] tries to change lanes so they won’t have to slow down, and so people get cut off and upset there. Also, Colorado is where people bail when the traffic is jammed.”

John Kades, Captain of the Investigator’s Division at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, confirmed that the cause of death for Uguryan was “traumatic injuries.”

Toxicology tests performed on Vardanyan will take several more weeks to complete. These tests will determine whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

CHP Altadena Division clerk, Karen, said that the accident report is still being reviewed as of press time.

Ani Kazaryan, a close friend of Uguryan’s from Clark, described Uguryan as “an amazing and gorgeous person” and expressed the need for privacy as friends and family struggle to come to terms with their loss.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s been writing such heartfelt things about our Tina,” she said. “I really don’t want any personal information said because it’s her family and my Teeny would want
it that way. her family and all our friends are going through a tough time and me, Cristina and Ani A. [classmates Cristina Arakelyan and Ani Alaverdyan] appreciate all the love that’s been surrounding us and all the support.

“We lost a part of ourselves and gained a part of her. She will never be gone to any of us. Really you guys, drive safe. I would never wish this kind of pain on anyone.”

Ironically, Uguryan’s father is a driving instructor. She was an only child.