(L.A.) Ken Balayev, 71, Died on the 110 Freeway

Case Number: 2023-06133

Los Angeles County is reporting the death of a 71-year-old “White/Caucasian” male that occurred on the 110 Freeway.

The coroner’s office has identified the man as Ken Balayev of Calabasas, California.

Manner of Death: Accident

Cause of Death: Traumatic Injuries

RIP KEN BALAYEV (April 10, 1952 – May 26, 2023)

Formal pronouncement of death was made on Friday at 3:00 a.m.

The decedent was a taxi driver who was killed in a wrong-way collision on the 110 Freeway near Exposition Boulevard in the downtown Los Angeles area.

A black Chevy Cruze was going southbound in the northbound lanes when it crashed into the taxi.

The driver of the Cruze, 23-year-old Samantha Molina, and a female passenger were hospitalized with serious injuries. The passenger of the taxi suffered minor injuries. Molina was eventually arrested.

Balayev had just picked up passengers at LAX when the crash occurred. He was an Armenian refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan, who arrived in the U.S. in 1991. For a time, he owned a dental lab in Los Angeles. After retirement, he took up taxi driving to stay busy and socialize.

He is survived by his only child, a daughter, and his grandchildren. He had been married for 45 years.