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Woman and boyfriend  arrested in child death


A woman and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection with the death of the woman’s 7-year-old daughter, who fell from a moving vehicle onto the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway over the July 4th weekend.

The girl was fatally injured about 3:40 a.m. Saturday near Weldon Canyon Road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Officers went to the scene after receiving a 911 call from a motorist reporting that a vehicle “had struck an unknown stationary object, which was blocking the roadway …,” according to a CHP statement.

“It was determined that the unknown object was a child which had been struck by several vehicles. After initial investigations it was determined the 7- year-old female child fell out of the moving 1999 Lincoln Navigator through … an open window, and as a result sustained fatal injuries. At this time the circumstances behind how she fell out are under investigation.

“The (girl’s) mother, Veronda Gladney, and the mother’s boyfriend, Michael Branch … have been arrested for child endangerment,” the CHP reported.

The girl’s name was withheld, pending notification of her next of kin.

According to the CHP, Gladney, 28, of Lancaster, was the driver of the Lincoln and Branch, 39, of Hawthorne, was a passenger, as was the girl, also from Lancaster.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the CHP Newhall Area Office at (661) 600-1600.