NBC Los Angeles reports that a father and his five-year-old daughter lost their lives in a crash with a drunk driver in South Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve – just minutes before midnight.
According to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department, the deadly crash happened at approximately 11:30 p.m. when a family of four, including a two-year-old, were driving on Normandie Avenue. At the intersection of Normandie and 60th Place, their vehicle was struck broadside by a speeding SUV that blew through the stop sign.
Eyewitnesses to the crash told police that the car spun around twice before colliding with a large steel gate to a parking lot. An area resident heard the crash and attempted to get the two children out of the minivan’s backseat.
“I came out and tried pulling out the babies, and they were all jammed in,” said a witness who did not wish to be identified. “There was nothing we could do about it.”
Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters and paramedics had to extricate the occupants of the sedan. A spokesperson for the LAFD told reporters that the male driver of the car was declared dead at the scene.
Paramedics rushed the two children and their mother to an area hospital. Despite all life-saving efforts made by doctors and emergency staff, the 5-year-old girl succumbed to the injuries she suffered in the crash.
The two-year-old girl is still fighting for her life, and her mother is listed in critical condition.
Surveillance video of the incident retrieved from traffic cameras at the intersection shows a white SUV speeding down the street, closely followed by a red car. The driver of the red car submitted a cellphone video to investigators, where they could be heard telling police about the erratic and dangerous driving of the SUV.
The SUV driver was arrested, but authorities have not released his identity.