High-Speed Pursuit Leads to Two Deaths

A suspected drunken driver fleeing CHP officers careened her car down an offramp, blew through a red light and crashed it into a crowd at a taco truck, killing two customers and leaving three people injured, a CHP officer said.

Speaking at the scene of the crash on Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, the mother of one dead woman said the speeding car ``tore her apart'' when it struck her.

The suspected drunken driver, a 37-year-old Upland woman whose name was withheld, had just exited the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway, with CHP officers trailing her, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.

The motorist was driving a gray 2005 Toyota Camry, according to a department report.

``The driver exited the freeway at Cesar Chavez Avenue and blew the red light at the intersection,'' Kimball said. ``She drove into a parking lot, where a food vending truck was set up, and crashed into the truck, striking three people outside the truck.''

Paramedics rushed the motorist to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center for minor injuries and was eventually taken into custody on suspicion of drunken driving, ``with more serious charges to follow," he said.

The pursuit had started on the eastbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway near the Convention Center at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday, when a CHP officer saw a motorist he believed was intoxicated, Kimball said.

The officer followed the car onto the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway, where the officer tried to make a stop, he said. The driver refused to pull over and sped off the at the Cesar Chavez offramp, in the middle of the East L.A. Interchange ramps.

A 39-year-old woman and a 19-year-old woman outside the truck were declared dead on the spot, Kimball said. A man outside the truck and two people inside it suffered minor injuries.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Contact Us