Fatal Crash during the First Summer Holiday of 2016 Claims the Life of a Toddler

The four day Memorial Day weekend official began at 6 PM on Friday, 27 May 2016. Just short of three hours later, the first fatal crash of the holiday occurred. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the local fire and rescue department responded to a call about a one car crash on Malibu Canyon Road, just north of Potter Road, in the vicinity of Pepperdine University.

The rescue authorities found two persons in an overturned 2011 Kia. The driver, identified as 22 year old Magdalena Lisi, sustained several injuries and was airlifted to the Ronald Reagan Medical Center for emergency care. Emma Perez, who was two years old and found in the right rear passenger seat, was not so fortunate. The little girl sustained fatal trauma during the accident and died at the scene.

Leland Tang, a CHP officer, reported that it was not known if speed was a factor in the accident. There was no unusual weather pattern that would have contributed to any hazardous road conditions. When interviewed, Lisi told authorities that she was driving in the northbound lane on Malibu Canyon Road when she drifted off the right side of the road and hit a guardrail. When she attempted to regain control of the Kia, by steering to the left, she overcompensated, and ended up crossing both traffic lanes, where she ran into the hillside and overturned her car.

Tang also stated that Lisi displayed symptoms of impairment at the accident site and that a toxicology test was taken at the hospital. It was determined that Lisi’s injuries were non-life threatening. After she was treated and released from the hospital, she was arrested there and booked by the police for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Lisi was served with two violations: 1-California Penal Code 187 (a), a first degree murder charge, and 2-California Penal Code 273ab (a), a charge of felony child abuse resulting death. While these are very serious charges, Lisi has pending charges involving disturbing the peace and probation violations.

While both occupants were wearing their seat belts, it was not reported if Emma was in a mandatory car seat for toddlers. Neither during the initial investigation of the accident, nor now, has any relationship between the two females been reported. Both Lisi and Perez lived in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Canoga Park.

A prominent local PR consultant, Susie Albin-Najera, established a GoFundMe account to help the Perez family pay the estimated $5000 funeral expenses for Emma. No details involving the burial were currently available. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, the account was successful in being able to raise all of the required funds. This image is from the GoFundMe page. If you have any cash to spare please visit the page and donate today.


Just 30 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, Malibu is a city inside of Los Angeles County that is known around the globe for its sandy beaches, warm and sunny climate, exceptional surfing, and for being home to some of the world’s most celebrated movie stars, athletes, and other affluent residents. The area covers more than 32 miles of the Pacific coastline.

Despite the overcast weather this year, the city attracted nearly 100,000 beach goers with plans for family outings to partake in sun, fun, and local festivals. The holiday weekend enjoyment includes many drivers taking in the scenic mountainous views along Malibu Canyon Road.

The local authorities fully understand the attraction of visitors to Malibu during the summer season. To help prevent accidents such as that caused by Lisi, alcohol checkpoints were strategically placed throughout the area. By the end of the holiday weekend, there were a number of arrests made and other accidents avoided. It was a sad turn of events that this year’s celebration began with the tragic loss of a young life. We will never know, but consider what might not have happened if Lisi has been stopped at one of the checkpoints.


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