Suspected DUI Driver Kills 3, Injures 9 Attending A Christmas Concert
A suspected DUI driver plowed through 12 people leaving a Christmas concert at a Redondo Beach church Wednesday, leaving three dead and others seriously injured, police say.The group had just left a concert around 8 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church when the tragic incident occurred, according to the L.A. Times. They were walking through a crosswalk at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Vincent Street when 56-year-old Margo Bronstein allegedly ran through a red light and crashed her white Saturn sedan into them. Police say Bronstein continued driving before crashing into an SUV.
"The vehicle actually carried some of the pedestrians before colliding with another vehicle that was traveling southbound on Pacific Coast Highway and actually threw a couple of the pedestrians into another vehicle," Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman told CBS Los Angeles.
The three victims who died were Martha Gaza, 36, Mary Anne Wilson, 81, and Saeko Matsumura, 87. Two others were in critical condition, including a child who suffered from a bruised lung and head trauma, as well as an adult who had a broken leg and head trauma, according to the Times. Another child had a broken collarbone. The others had minor scrapes and complained of pain. A total of eight adults, including the driver, and five children ranging from 5 to 14 years old were involved in the crash.
Paramedics took the victims to the hospital, while two drove themselves, reported CBS Los Angeles. Bronstein was among the ones taken to the hospital to be treated for her minor injuries. She was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and is being held in prison in lieu of a $300,000 bail. Bronstein is expected to appear in a Torrance court on Friday.
Anyone with any information on the crash is asked to contact the Redondo Beach Police Department at 310-379-2477.
UPDATE 10:05 a.m.: Hoffman told the L.A. Times that he authorities believed Bronstein was on prescription drugs after they evaluated her at the scene of the crash; however, they did not find any drugs in her car. They are waiting on the results of a pending toxicology test.