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Crash kills woman in Agua Dulce

Crime: Allegedly intoxicated driver hits his neighbor, who was walking her dogs with her boyfriend

Posted: August 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 16, 2011 1:57 a.m.
 

All her life, Lori Lindlief wanted a dream home.

About eight months ago, her dream came true when she moved into a house, which she shared with her boyfriend and four small dogs, on White Fox Lane in Agua Dulce — a home rooted in ranch land and horses, a relative said.

It all ended early Saturday evening, however, when the 56-year-old woman was struck by a suspected drunken driver as
she walked through the rural neighborhood with her boyfriend and dogs.

Lindlief, who was airlifted from the scene and kept on life-support, died Sunday in the hospital as a result of her injuries.

The man now charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with her death is her next-door neighbor.

“This house that she moved into was her dream home,” said one of Lindlief’s relatives, who asked not to be named. “She got the home; she got the horses. ... This is really a tragedy — an absolute tragedy.

“I just don’t understand that somebody has to die before something is done about this,” she said, commenting on drunken driving.

At about 8 p.m. Saturday, Lindlief was walking her four dogs with her partner and “best friend” Austin Dingman on
Mabana Street, just west of White Fox Lane, when she was hit by a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, Officer Marino Hernandez of the California Highway Patrol said Monday.

“She went for a brief walk through the neighborhood with her dogs and her boyfriend, and they were walking back to the house when she was hit,” Hernandez said.

“Due to (his) intoxication, (the driver) failed to see Lindlief, and the right front of his vehicle subsequently struck her,” Hernandez said of the driver.

The woman suffered “major injuries” and was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, he said.
Dingman, who has been with Lindlief for about 12 years, was not reportedly hurt.

Two of the couple’s four dogs were also hit by the car but survived, according to Dingman’s daughter, Crystal.

“She was like a mom to me,” she said Monday. “I loved her. I think we’re all in shock. The whole family is heartbroken.”

Lindlief was born in Long Island, N.Y., but moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was young, according to family.

For more than 20 years, she worked for the UPS courier service, most recently delivering courier mail as a “feeder driver” behind the wheel of an 18-wheel truck.

Hard work and determination, relatives said, enabled Lindlief to finally get her dream house, which backs onto the north side of the Agua Dulce Airport.

“She was an extremely hard worker,” said Dingman.

Lindlief’s sister arrived in the Santa Clarita Valley from Sacramento to be by her side, family members said.

Dennis Keene, 63, who lives in the house next door to Lindlief on White Fox Lane, was arrested on the felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The investigation was continuing, Hernandez said.

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