A 6-year-old boy and three others were killed when a motorist ran a red light and slammed into a crowd gathered outside a California church, authorities said Friday.
Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. David Smith said Samuel Gaza, 6, died late Thursday night at a local hospital.
A group of pedestrians on Wednesday night had just attended a student Christmas program at St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach when the motorist sped around the other vehicles in a white Saturn sedan and rammed into the crowd before hitting another car head-on, police Lt. Shawn Freeman said.
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The boy’s mother, 36-year-old Martha Gaza of Torrance, died in the incident as well. Two others, Mary Anne Wilson, 81, and Saeko Matsumura, 87, also died, Fox News reported.
Four children and eight adults, including the suspect and the driver hit in the head-on collision, sustained injuries ranging from broken bones, abrasions and head trauma in the crash.
Margo Bronstein, 56, was arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter and is expected to make her first court appearance either Friday or Monday.
Authorities said they believed Bronstein had taken prescription drugs, but were waiting the results of her toxicology test.
Officials said they do not have information linking her to any prior arrests or DUI-related charges.
She had a perfect driving record but was restricted to driving a vehicle with hand-controlled brakes, an additional right-side mirror, and adequate signaling device, according to Department of Motor Vehicle records.
The DMV does not list her as handicapped, however.
Friends and neighbors said she used crutches at times and a motorized wheelchair at longer distances, but were unsure as to why.
They described her as always friendly and deferential.
“She’s very personable, very kind,” Vanecia Wiley, a manager at the senior housing community where Bronstein lives, told the Los Angeles Times. “She doesn’t want to be in anyone’s way.”
4 Dead After Suspected Drunk Driver Slams Into Crowd Outside California Church