Northridge mom, 2 kids innocent victims of road tragedy

first_img>>> UPDATE: 5-year-old dies of road-rage injuries VAN NUYS – Radiant, content and at the pinnacle of her life, Syeda Arif held her 2-month-old daughter in her arms as she plucked out a baby bag from the trunk of her Honda. It was 3 p.m. Tuesday and she had just pulled up to a friend’s home along Sherman Way with her daughter, Ikra, and 5-year-old son, Ayman. Described as a doting mother who reveled in her Bangladeshi traditions, she and her friend planned to get ready for Saturday’s Muslim holiday of Eid. She had bought traditional colorful Bengali clothes for friends and family. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Less than a block away, strangers Armando Gamboa Ayon, a Pacoima teen, and Brian Gilbert Barnes, a porn star and self-proclaimed pot smoker, were taunting each other, zipping west through heavy afternoon traffic on Sherman Way in a show of bravado, pushing the speedometer to 90 mph, police said. And then, in a flash, Arif’s life shattered. In a chain-reaction crash, Ayon plowed into a parked car, which then slammed into Arif’s, crumpling it like a tin can and crushing her and her son. Her daughter flew out of her hands. Now, she has lost part of a leg and might lose her son, who is clinging to life while hooked up to machines at UCLA Medical Center. Her daughter is in critical condition. “It is as if I lost my own family,” said Ripon Rahman, a family friend. “She is alive, but I don’t know how she is going to survive.” Police said they don’t know what set off the impromptu street race between Ayon, 19, and Barnes, 44, of Northridge. Both had cut in and out of traffic for more than a mile when they reached Amestoy Avenue and Sherman Way. Barnes hit the brakes on his red 2000 Camaro hard, and Ayon swerved his Nissan Maxima around him to the lane closest to the curb. But at such high speeds, he couldn’t avoid a parked car near where Arif and her son stood. Barnes sped off, and when police arrived at the scene of limp bodies and pools of blood, they arrested Ayon. He is charged with attempted murder. Barnes later turned himself in to police, and he faces the same charges. “It does not matter who started this,” Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michel Moore said. “This is not a fight of 5-year-olds on a playground. It’s ridiculous. They both should have stopped.” Road-rage crashes This year in the San Fernando Valley, there have been 100 road-rage crashes, which include high-speed street racing and other forms of aggressive driving, the same number as last year to this point. Tuesday’s crash came one day after an El Monte mother and her two children were killed when a car in a street race spun out of control and smashed into them. Both cases are examples of how aggression behind the wheel can turn tragic, police said. Word of the Sherman Way crash spread quickly among residents of the Bengali community. Dozens streamed into the Northridge Hospital Medical Center emergency room, where Arif lay and her distraught husband sat blank-faced with little to say. Friends said the shock is simply too much. “This has shattered the family. They are so beautiful and she was well-liked,” Rahman said. Arif had come to the United States seven years ago from Bangladesh and moved to a four-bedroom Northridge home with her husband, a computer engineer, to be closer to her friends. Inside the home Wednesday of her best friend, Shahnaz “Zabeen” Kazi, an April 23 clipping of a local Bengali paper, the Ekush, showed Arif beaming into the camera, surrounded by a dozen women dressed in pink saris at her baby shower. “It’s tragic, just so tragic. We are all so shocked,” said Kazi, tears streaming down her cheeks, later adding, “I hate the man who did this.” Little is known about Ayon, but Barnes’ arrest record described him as a 6-foot, 198-pound man born June 1, 1963, who works in the adult-film industry. The Internet Adult Film Database lists an actor with the same birthdate and physical description who performs under the name Brian Surewood. An outlaw image Members of the closely knit business described him as an alternately macho and laid-back man, aggressive on camera but friendly between scenes. “As far as the porn industry goes, he’s an intellectual,” porn blogger Luke Ford said. “He likes to smoke pot and watch the History Channel for hours. ” Ford said Barnes, who cultivated an outlaw image, with a scraggly beard, moustache and bandanna, could quickly shift from relaxed to aggressive. News of the crash did not come as a shock, he said. Others described Barnes as a hippie who was kind to his fellow performers. “This is a super tragedy,” said Bill Margold, an industry advocate who worked on a movie with Barnes. “I ache for him because he’s a really good person. This is just indicative that this industry is full of over-aged juvenile delinquents.” In a light-hearted interview a year ago on an Adult DVD Talk podcast, Barnes’ assessment of himself was almost prophetic for what happened this week. “I smoke pot not for my health, but for other people’s,” he said. “I think I’m generally a violent person. Smoking pot really helps me curb my ways. It makes me very happy and mellow and very easy to get along with, instead of an irate (jerk).” rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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