Police were investigating if a driver was under the influence when they say he slammed into a minivan, killing a mother and injuring a child inside, before striking and killing an adult male pedestrian in South L.A. on Sunday.
The violent collision occurred around midnight near South Normandie and West Slauson avenues, bordering the Harvard Park and Vermont-Slauson neighborhoods, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Dana Adams said.
A driver, believed to be in a Dodge sedan, was heading southbound when he crashed in to a minivan carrying a mother, father and three children between ages 5 and 10, police on scene said.
The minivan was traveling northbound, and the force of the head-on collision caused the solo driver’s vehicle to travel some 300 feet south and into a pedestrian and several parked motorcycles, Lt. Darryl Martin said.
The dramatic crash was captured on surveillance video, which shows a shower of sparks as the car plows into the bikers' vehicles.
The pedestrian died at the scene. He was identified by fellow members of the Persuaders Motorcycle Club as 48-year-old William Walker, who was known by the nickname "Chil."
A friend of Walker's, who identified herself as "Lady Goldy," recalled the chaos of the crash.
"We were just standing outside and, man, it just went crazy. I can't really retract everything that happened -- I just known it was a nightmare," she said, standing near a makeshift memorial for the motorcyclist. "I'm just going to miss him."
The mother in the minivan died on the way to a local hospital, police said. Her name was not immediately released.
The father and three children, one of whom was believed to have suffered a broken leg, were also hospitalized.
The unidentified driver of the Dodge was detained and being investigated for possibly driving under the influence and speeding. He was also hospitalized in unknown condition.
Several others were injured in the incident, none seriously, by flying debris when the driver crashed into six parked motorcycles, police said.
Tasha Coleman, a member of the motorcycle club, offered condolences to the victims.
"Our heart not only goes out for our club brother, and our friend that we lost, but our heart goes out for them kids that lost their mother this close to the holidays," she said. "God bless them and we will be continuously praying for them."