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Sheriff’s deputy hailed as hero for stopping runaway car

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A sheriff’s deputy was hailed as a hero today for positioning his patrol car in front of a car that had lost its brakes on a hill in La Crescenta at more than 50 mph and stopping the vehicle before it crashed on a curve, authorities said.

The incident happened at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday on southbound Pennsylvania Avenue south of Foothill Boulevard, the sheriff’s department reported.

Deputy Marcelo Ruiz was driving the patrol car, accompanied by reserve Deputy Alfred Danelian, when they saw a woman in a Ford Focus “frantically trying to get their attention as she drove down (the) hill,” sheriff’s Sgt. Debra Herman of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said in a statement.

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