A 38-year-old Whittier woman surrendered herself to police after allegedly driving an SUV into a Pasadena family in a hit-and-run crash that left a 4-month-old baby with a fractured skull and a dog dead, police said Tuesday.
Tiffani Lowden turned herself in about 10:30 p.m. Monday on the urging of a family member, South Pasadena Police Department Chief Arthur Miller announced at an 11:30 a.m. Tuesday news conference.
She told police at the station she was the person wanted in a Sunday evening hit-and-run crash but, during interviews with detectives, she invoked her right to remain silent and ceased answering questions, Miller said. She expressed remorse, he said.
“She was a little bit upset about the whole situation,” Miller said.
Lowden’s license was suspended in September 2012 for failing to appear in court on charges of driving while talking on a cellphone, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Two additional violations were for failing to appear in court again.
She had no other violations on her record, a DMV representative said.
The driver in the 7:30 p.m. Sunday collision at Orange Grove Boulevard and Columbia Street (map) fled after plowing over three members of the Hollon family, carrying a mother and baby for about 10 feet before they rolled off the vehicle, Miller said Monday.
Mother Ali Hollon, 30, said Monday that she had tried to protect her young daughter.
“We just rolled on the ground and I remember just wrapping my body around her,” Ali Hollon told KTLA. “It’s almost a miracle that it wasn’t worse.”
Hollon was treated for a broken nose and cuts and contusions to her face, while the baby had two small fractures to her skull.
Her husband Bryan Hollon, 40, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
The family’s beloved 7-year-old Boston terrier Babel was rushed to a vet by a bystander who came to the family’s aid, but the animal could not be saved.
The bystander said she heard a “horrible thud” and then the SUV raced away.
“What I remember most was the screaming. People were screaming and the father was screaming,” witness Rachel Emmons said.
The family were in the crosswalk and had the right-of-way, Miller said. The Hollons were “very relieved” that a suspect turned herself in, the chief said.
Lowden made “no indication as to what her frame of mind was when she was behind the wheel of the vehicle,” Miller said.
An anonymous tip had first led to Lowden’s identification as the suspect, Miller said. She has no criminal record of any kind, he added.
It was not clear if police had looked at Lowden’s DMV record when Miller said that.
Lowden was being held on $50,000 bail on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, he said. The case has already been filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Miller said.
Authorities had described the vehicle as a smaller, newer model, dark-colored SUV, possibly a Toyota. An image displayed Tuesday appeared to show a black Nissan, though the model was not clear.
The police investigation was continuing. Anyone who had information on the crash was asked to call the South Pasadena police at 626-403-7297.
KTLA’s Scott Williams and Christina Pascucci contributed to this article.