Crash at PCH and Artesia

A fatal traffic accident forced the closure of Pacific Coast Highway at Artesia in Hermosa Beach in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2019. (Photo by Paul Kryczko)

A 21-year-old woman suspected of driving under the influence and causing a two-vehicle crash that killed another woman in Hermosa Beach was free on bond Thursday.

Melanie Azanero of Hawthorne was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for the crash, which occurred about 2 a.m. Wednesday at Pacific Coast Highway and Artesia Boulevard, said Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Robert Higgins.

Azanero was treated for “minor to moderate” injuries, and released on $130,000 bond later that day, Higgins said.

Los Angeles resident Brianna Pugh, 24, died at the scene, authorities said.

Azanero was driving a 2015 Honda Civic that collided with a 2019 Nissan Kicks SUV driven by Pugh, police said.

“The investigation of the collision is ongoing and officials believe driving under the influence is a factor in the collision,” Higgins said in a statement.

Police asked that anyone with information on the case call them at (310) 318-0360.

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