A 2-year-old girl died Thursday night hours after the car she was traveling in with her mother was involved in a violent crash that ended a high-speed, surface-street pursuit in Lancaster, according to sheriff's department officials.
"The child was in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, properly restrained in the car seat, but the impact was so severe, it hit directly in passenger doors," said Deputy Michael Rust.
Three people were critically injured in the collision -- the pursued driver, a woman driving a separate vehicle and her young daughter. The driver and the child's mother remained in serious condition Thursday night, sheriff's officials said.
The driver, identified only as a 45-year-old resident of Palmdale, was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter, said sheriff's Deputy Peter Gomez.
The crash occurred at 4:58 p.m. at 10th Street West and West Avenue I (map), the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities could not say where the pursuit began, but said a reckless driver was involved. The driver drove up to 100 mph, ran several red lights and drove on the wrong side of the street, sheriff's department officials said.
Gomez described the chase as "extremely brief," estimating that it may have been "about 10 seconds" from the time officers started pursuing the dark-colored Toyota to when the driver ran a red light and slammed into a blue Lexus.
It was not immediately known whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the deadly crash.
The names of the victim or the two drivers were not released, sheriff's officials said.
"We're just going to wrap our arms around this family and be there for them," a family friend told NBC4.
Initial reports from the scene suggested a fourth patient was in unknown condition, and a pedestrian was among those injured, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Two cars appeared to be up on the sidewalk at the intersection, aerial video showed. Debris from the accident was littered across the intersection, and responding patrol cars surrounded the scene.
The intersection remained cordoned off at 11 p.m. as investigators combed the area.