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Funeral Funds Needed for Family Killed in Highland Crash



Saida Juana Mendez-Bernardino, 27, Hilda Cruz, 6, and Stephanie Cruz, 4 were killed in a traffic collision on Highland on Wednesday morning.

We’ve started a fundraising campaign provide funeral expense assistance for the family of the mother and her two young daughters who died in a traffic collision on Highland at Willoughby in Hollywood on August 29. We have setup this campaign to make it easier for our readers to contribute — and we’ll do the legwork for you to make sure the funds are going to the right place.

On Friday, we delivered the first $2,500 in contributions to the family of the victims. We’re continuing to raise funds with a goal of $5,000 (perhaps a little bit more so that we can give the family $5,000 net of any overhead fees for credit cards and such).


The victims have been identified as Saida Juana Mendez-Bernardino, 27, Hilda Cruz, 6, and Stephanie Cruz, 4, all from Los Angeles. Mendez-Bernardino had been driving her oldest daughter to school, according to the Los Angeles Times. One daughter died at the scene. The mother and other daughter died a short time later at a hospital.

Another, 11 year old daughter had just been dropped at school moments before the collision.

The driver that caused the crash had a suspended license for failure to appear, speeding and using a mobile phone while driving. He had drifted or turned into opposing lanes of traffic.

We have confirmed with LAPD that the family involved in the accident does need financial help and we have been in touch with the contact person provided by LAPD.


ALL FUNDS DONATED LESS FEES WILL BE FUNDED – even below the “goal” amount, however once we reach the goal the fees are lower. At least that is my understanding on how this works. After 7 days, once the funds are released, they will be deposited into the bank account that has been established for the family.

There are some fees for making a donation through this service so we will also post the bank account info here once available in case you want to donate directly that way so 100% of funds go to the family. Again, none of the fees will benefit Weho Daily — they are credit card fees, paypal fees, etc.

Under no circumstances will Weho Daily keep any of the funds collected here. If any complications arise in the process of providing these funds to the appropriate individual, they will be donated to a crime victims fund or other non-profit agency that might help victims of tragedies such as this.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Elena I. Popp

    September 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Thank you to the WeHo Daily for its leadership in the days after the accident. I am a friend of the Bernardino family and very grateful for the support. The family continues to deal with the tragedy. They are doing as well as can be expected in light of what happened. We will soon know if we have sufficient funds to pay for the funeral expenses and will update your readers.

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Celebrity News

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Reportedly Share Gruesome Kobe Crash Photos




LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Some L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies shared photos of the scene where Kobe Bryant , his daughter, Gigi, and 7 others lost their lives … and the photos included remains from the gruesome aftermath … this according to a new report.

It’s not clear who took the photos, but it was being talked about by first responders just 2 days after the crash, this according to the L.A. Times.

And, according to the report, at least one L.A. County Sheriff’s official had the photos on his cellphone “in a setting that had nothing to do with the investigation.”

The report does not say who took the photos and how many deputies and officials at the Sheriff’s Dept. saw or shared the photos.

The Sheriff’s Dept. contacted families of all of the victims … an official told The Times the reason for contacting them was not because of the allegation but rather because there was a media inquiry over the allegation.

The Sheriff’s Department would only say, “The matter is being looked into.”

We’re told the Sheriff’s Dept. has known about this for 3 weeks. The trainee who showed the photos to a woman in a bar did so a few days after the crash.

We’re told the gruesome photos were also passed around by members of the L.A. County Fire Dept. and we’re told that Dept. is now investigating.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, multiple L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the crash scene took photos that included remains. We’re told one of the deputies — a trainee — took photos and at some point went to a bar and, as one source put it, “He tried to impress a girl by showing her the photos.” We’re told the bartender overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff’s Dept.

We’re also told the cell phone photos were passed around at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation — the first responders to the crash. Sources say deputies from other substations around L.A. County also took cell phone photos.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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DUI Checkpoint in Beverly Hills Friday Feb 28th



BEVERLY HILLS – The Beverly Hills Police Department Traffic Bureau will be conducting a sobriety and driver license checkpoint on Friday February 28th, 2020, at an undisclosed location within city limits.

The checkpoint will be operational from approximately 9:00 PM and conclude at approximately 3:00 AM. All traffic will pass through the checkpoint.

Motorists will be stopped and contacted by uniformed officers, who will be checking for alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers. Officers will also check to make sure all contacted drivers have a valid driver license.

BHPD and the Office of Traffic Safety want to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI.

“Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI. The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety, and to increase awareness of the dangers associated with impaired driving, and serve as a deterrent to potential impaired and unlicensed drivers” the announcement stated.

If you have any questions regarding this program or any other traffic safety issue, please contact Sergeant Gregg Mader (310) 285-2140. Funding for impaired driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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West Hollywood Sheriff Crime Incident Report Feb 10 – 16



West Hollywood Sheriff's Station Sign (Michael Dorausch/Flickr)

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The following incidents were reported in the City February 10-16.

February 10th
Aggravated Assault – Hands, Fist, Feet
8600 block Beverly Blvd
02/10/2020 @ 1350. A man pushed an elderly woman to the ground without provocation. The victim suffered cuts to her face and a broken bone in her back. #00840

Other Burglary
8500 block Melrose Avenue
02/10/2020 @ 0145. Two men smashed a glass side door to gain access and removed handbags and shoes from a display area and fled the area on foot.

Vehicle Burglary
9100 block Sunset Blvd
02/10/2020 @ 2030-2300. An unknown suspect smashed the rear passenger’s side window and removed a backpack containing a laptop computer and clothing from the rear floorboard.

Vehicle Burglary
Doheny Drive / Sunset Blvd
02/10/2020 @ 2130-2300. An unknown suspect smashed the rear passenger’s side window and removed a backpack containing earphones and a vaping pen from the rear floorboard.

February 11th
Grand Theft
1300 block N Hayworth Avenue
02/11/2020 @ 2000-0745. An unknown suspect removed a pair of sunglasses from the glove box and a pair of shoes from the trunk of the unlocked vehicle.

Vehicle Burglary
1300 block Harper Avenue
02/11/2020 @ 2359. An unknown suspect smashed the rear passenger’s side window and removed property from the back seat.

Vehicle Burglary
8400 block Melrose Avenue
02/11/2020 @ 2000-2200. An unknown suspect smashed the front and back passenger’s side windows and the trunk window and removed a Louis Vuitton handbag, perfume, clothing, shoes, leather jacket, and laptop computer from the trunk. Loss $6800.

February 12th
Aggravated Assault – Knife
8600 block Santa Monica Blvd
02/12/2020 @ 1050-1105. A man pulled a knife and threatened to hurt an employee after he was asked to leave the business for causing a disturbance. The suspect fled the area on foot.

Grand Theft
7100 block Santa Monica Blvd
02/12/2020 @ 0840-0845. An unknown suspect removed a laptop computer that was left unattended on the ground.

February 13th
Grand Theft
8600 block Sunset Blvd
02/13/2020 @ 1600. A women removed seven cosmetic packages from a display area and left the store without payment. #00924

Grand Theft
8600 block Sunset Blvd
02/13/2020 @ 1645. A woman removed six jars of facial crème from a display area and left the store without payment.

Vehicle Burglary
1200 block La Brea Avenue
02/13/2020 @ 0530-0700. An unknown suspect smashed the rear driver’s side window and removed a jacket and a purse containing $150 cash and a CDL from the rear floorboard.

Vehicle Burglary
700 block Westbourne Drive
02/13/2020 @ 1916-0710. An unknown suspect smashed the rear passenger’s side window and removed 16 Apple Air Pods from the back seat.

February 14th
Aggravated Assault – Knife
8400 block Santa Monica Blvd
02/14/2020 @ 1625. A man pulled a knife and threw it at the victim during an argument about collecting recyclables. The knife hit the victim in the lower back area and caused a small scratch.

February 15th
Aggravated Assault – Gun (Suspect Arrested)
800 block Westbourne Drive
02/15/2020 @ 2100. A man pointed a handgun at his neighbor and threatened to kill him during a dispute in the hallway of their apartment complex. The suspect was arrested by responding deputies.

Other Burglary
8400 block Melrose Avenue
02/15/2020 @ 0300-0800. An unknown suspect smashed the front glass door to gain entry and broke the lock to a wine refrigerator. The suspect removed several bottles wine.

February 16th
Aggravated Assault – Knife (Suspect Arrested)
8800 block Santa Monica Blvd
02/16/2020 @ 0120. A woman was stabbed one time in the stomach without provocation by a man while standing inside the club. The victim suffered a small scratch to her abdomen and was treated on scene. The suspect was arrested by responding deputies.

Armed Robbery (Suspects Arrested)
900 block Palm Avenue
02/16/2020 @ 0145. A man and woman were walking WB on Cynthia Street near Palm Avenue when a vehicle pulled to a stop near their location. Three men exited the vehicle, approached the victims and demanded their property. The male victim was punched and knocked to the ground and hit with a handgun. The suspects took a purse from the victim and fled the area in the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by responding deputies and four men were arrested.

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