Grandmother Dies After Car Jumps Curb, Strikes Her and Granddaughters

A grandmother died Saturday after a car jumped a curb in Valley Glen, plowing over her and her granddaughters on the sidewalk, in a horrific chain-reaction crash, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed.

"I just called 911 right away," Harut Petrosyan, whose parked car was damaged in wreck, said. "Two of them were bleeding from the head. It was just nothing I've ever seen before."

The crash occurred at 4:20 p.m. in the 12900 block of Vanowen Street when the 56-year-old driver of a white BMW tried to pass other cars in the center turning lane, according to the LAPD.

The BMW clipped a silver Mustang, setting off two chain reaction crashes. The Mustang rammed several parked cars.

The BMW hit other cars and then jumped the curb. The 63-year-old grandmother and her granddaughters, ages 13, 8, and 7, were walking down the street when the BMW hit them, LAPD said.

"We believe that they saw the vehicles coming towards them and one of the girls was on a little bicycle and she dropped the bicycle and tried to get out of the way," Bill Bustos, detective with the LAPD Valley Traffic Division, said.

The car continued to crash into a wrought iron fence of an apartment building, coming to rest on Valentin Deras' apartment lawn.

"A loud tire screech, and then I heard three crashes and my first instinct was grab my phone and run outside," Deras said.

He found three girls and their grandmother crying and bleeding on the sidewalk as family members tried to help.


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Deras said he spoke to the driver of the BMW, who he believes was in shock after the crash.

"He was worried. He was upset. He was in pain as well," Deras said. "He was asking about the little girls to see if they were OK, because that's what he was more worried about."

Police confirmed later Saturday that the grandmother had died in the hospital.

"You can tell when there's speed involved because the distance the vehicles get moved from their actual location of being parked," Robert White, LAPD Valley Traffic Division, said. "That's a lot of speed and inertia that pushes these vehicles forward like that."

Seven parked cars were damaged, including some that were totaled. 

A sixth person suffered minor injuries and declined treatment.

It wasn't clear if any charges would be filed against either driver as the investigation was ongoing. 

Residents in the area said speeding is a problem.

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