Los Angeles

Family Mourns Beloved Deacon as Driver in Fatal Hollywood Crash Identified

One of the victims was mourned Tuesday night at a vigil.

A man was identified by authorities Tuesday as the person behind the wheel in a fatal Hollywood Boulevard crash that left two people, including a Metro worker, dead.

The driver, who was hospitalized in critical condition and later died following the crash, was identified as 29-year-old Oscar Chavez.

The fiery crash occurred early Monday morning after Chavez, behind the wheel of a Camaro, pulled away from a traffic stop in Hollywood and slammed into a van just before 2 a.m., according to authorities.

The driver took off from the stop after a passenger got out of the car. Moments and a half-mile later the crash occurred at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Gower Street, officials said.

A Metro vanpool vehicle that was being used for maintenance work was fully engulfed in flames, trapping the driver inside, after being involved in a crash with a Chevolet Camaro.

Authorities were attempting to determine why the driver took off during the stop.

The driver was traveling at an "extraordinarily unsafe" speed, said Lt. David Ferry, of the Los Angeles Police Department. "We are investigating this as a possible DUI collision."

The Metro worker, identified by police as 51-year-old Willie Toy, died at the scene. Toy worked as a custodian, cleaning subway stations, during his 15 years with the agency.

Toy was also a deacon at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in South Los Angeles, friends said. He was the father of several adult children.

"Willie Toy had been a great inspiration to everyone he had run in contact with," friend Curtis Hughes said.

A vigil was held for Toy at the crash site Tuesday night. 

Family members said he was survived by eight children.


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Metro van pools are similar to carpools, but usually involve larger groups off five to 15 people. The driver was the lone occupant in the van at the time of Monday's crash.

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