One man was killed and two others injured early Thursday morning, Oct. 22 in two crashes after dozens of car enthusiasts gathered in Anaheim and in Costa Mesa, police said.
Two drivers were arrested.
At about 1:30 a.m., around 200 cars descended upon the Anaheim Plaza parking lot on Euclid Street, Anaheim Sgt. Jacob Gallacher said, with police called after a woman was struck by a car in the parking lot where a car club had congregated.
Officers arrived and saw several were driving recklessly and doing doughnuts in the lot police said. The 18-year-old woman was found laying on the ground unresponsive among the crowd, Gallacher said.
The car apparently whipped around and the back of it hit the woman, who was likely a spectator from the group, the sergeant said. She was hospitalized and expected to survive.
The driver had given his contact information to a witness which was shared with police who used it to find him about two hours later in a residential part of Anaheim. Witnesses also provided investigators with cell phone footage of the crash.
Preston James Shea, 19, of Anaheim was arrested on suspicion of hit and run and assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, Gallacher said.
At about 2:30 a.m. Anaheim police tipped off Costa Mesa police that about 80 to 100 vehicles were heading from Anaheim to their city.
But before Costa Mesa officers came across the mass, a truck apparently performed and rolled over at Hyland and Sunflower avenues. Fyad said the car was doing a doughnut in the intersection at the time.
“After the collision, several bystanders rolled the truck to the side where a passenger was found unconscious,” Costa Mesa police said in a statement. “Officers arrived and initiated CPR; however, the victim succumbed to his injuries.”
One passenger, a man in his 20s, died at the scene, said Roxi Fyad, a spokeswoman for the Costa Mesa Police Department. Another passenger was taken to a hospital but expected to survive, she said.
The driver of the truck, 22-year-old Mynor Augusto Esquivelvalle of Los Angeles, was arrested at the scene. He was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.
Three spectators were arrested for aiding and abetting related to the crash, police said.
Police said Esquivelvalle is the cousin of the victim, 23-year-old Sergio Marroquin, Jr. Investigators do not suspect the driver was under the influence at the time of the crash.
Anaheim’s Gallacher said people organize these meet-ups through social media that quickly reach hundreds of people.
Mass gathering of cars and spectators, called street takeovers, often happen during late nights or early mornings when roads are empty. Drivers do doughnuts, burnouts or other stunts in intersections while spectator stand mere feet away.
“It’s highly dangerous,” Gallacher said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.