Three people are dead and at least three more are hospitalized Wednesday after a violent, four-vehicle collision that closed a stretch of Sepulveda Boulevard for hours this morning.
Officers from the Manhattan Beach Police Department were called at 9:46 p.m. Tuesday to Sepulveda Boulevard and Marine Avenue where the four vehicles collided, said a Manhattan Beach Police spokesman.
Two men and one woman died at the scene and two adults and a juvenile were taken to a hospital in unknown conditions. One of the injured individuals was described as being in critical condition shortly after the crash, but no further details about their updated condition or which crash victim it was were available.
Christian Mendoza, 48, of Redondo Beach was in one of the vehicles and
died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
Katie-Jay Scott, 40, also of Redondo Beach, and a man in his 50s were
in another car and they also died at the scene, the coroner's office reported. The man's name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives.
Cars involved in the crash included a BMW, a VW and a Prius. One of the vehicles crashed into a nearby building housing the Coast Music Store, and Sepulveda Boulevard was littered with debris from the collision.
Pieces of cars were strewn from one side of the street to the other at the crash scene, as police began processing the collision and examining the car pieces almost 200 feet from the point of impact.
"Based on the catastrophic nature of the collision and the volume of debris at the scene, it would appear that someone was driving very fast," the spokesman told City News Service when asked if speed was a factor in the crash.
Police believe the crash was the result of a chain reaction.
"The BMW collided, broadsided one of the other cars and that caused a chain reaction with the other cars involved," said Acting Sgt. Wilbert Pereira of the Manhattan Beach Police Department of their acting theory. The investigation is ongoing.
The spokesman said it does not appear that any crimes were committed.
No arrests have been made and the collision remains under investigation.
Traffic investigators are hoping security camera video from businesses at the intersection will provide a better idea of how the crash happened.
Sepulveda Blvd was closed Wednesday morning from 22nd Street to 30th Street. Marine Avenue was closed from Cedar Avenue to Oak Avenue, due to the investigation.
Drivers began using a nearby parking lot to attempt to navigate around the closure, but police asked that everyone stay out of the area if possible.