CBS NEWS — An investigation continues after a woman in her 30s was killed and a 6-year-old girl, believed to be her daughter, was critically injured when they were struck by a possibly impaired driver while walking near Hancock Park Elementary School.
The crash in the mid-Wilshire area was reported about 8 a.m. on Tuesday near Fairfax and Colgate avenues, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police said the woman and girl were walking in a crosswalk in the 6200 block of West Colgate Avenue when they were struck by a southbound pickup, which then continued south and crashed into an apartment building.
“The adult female was sadly found to be deceased on scene,” according to a Los Angeles Fire Department statement. “The young girl was transported in critical condition.”
Police said the critically injured girl is a first-grader at Hancock Park Elementary. The motorist, a man about 30, was taken to a hospital in “moderate” condition, the LAFD reported. He was detained at the hospital pending further investigation.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the city Police Commission on Tuesday morning there were “early signs that the man was impaired,” however, investigators determined that the driver suffered a medical emergency before the crash. They also said that he was not doing anything criminal at the time.
“That is a contributing factor to this horrific collision that resulted in the loss of this mother, and the critical injuries to this young child,” Moore said.
Investigators said they were interviewing witnesses and searching for any possible video that may have captured the crash. Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho issued a statement lamenting the fatal crash.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was involved in or witnessed the horrific traffic accident near Hancock Park Elementary School this morning,” he said Tuesday. “We send our sincerest condolences to the entire school community and have mental health counselors available on site for students and employees.”
LAUSD Board of Education member Nick Melvoin added in a statement, “Our hearts are broken over the death of a Hancock Park Elementary parent in a brazen traffic accident this morning — and our prayers are with her daughter who remains in the hospital. We are sending support to the school and will continue to ensure mental health and counseling services are available to anyone in need.”
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, who represents the area where the crash occurred, wrote on her Twitter page that there are “no words to convey how horrifying this act of traffic violence is.”
“Like tens of thousands of other parents in Los Angeles, I also walked my child to school today,” she said. “It can be a terrifying experience, knowing that distracted drivers are traveling far above speed limits just feet from where our children walk.”
Yaroslavsky said she will be supporting a motion before the council’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday calling for the installation of speed humps around every elementary school in the city.
“We need to address street safety in Los Angeles as the crisis that it is,” she wrote. “That starts with ensuring that Hancock Park Elementary has a crossing guard at the intersection where the accident occurred.”
Police reminded motorists “that if they become involved in a collision, they should pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so, notify emergency services, and remain at the scene to identify themselves.”
We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victims and wish a quick recovery for others involved in this crash during this very difficult time.
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