Police are seeking the public's help, and offering a $25,000 reward, in hope of finding a hit-and-run driver involved in a suspected street-racing crash in South Los Angeles over the weekend that left two 9-year-old girls critically injured.
A second alleged racer, who remained at the scene, was also severely injured in the collision that took place about 8:55 p.m. Dec. 9 at Hoover Street and Florence Avenue, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a written statement.
Jazmin Torres, 24, was making a left turn from westbound Florence Avenue to southbound Hoover Street when an eastbound black Chevrolet Camaro slammed into her vehicle. Police said the Camaro was racing a black Ford Mustang.
Los Angeles firefighters freed the woman and the two girls who were in her car from the wreckage and took them to hospitals for treatment, officials said.
The driver of the Camaro, identified as Franklin Windom, 38, also suffered major injuries in the crash, according to the LAPD. Police had previously given a different name spelling and age for the suspect.
The Mustang driver, meanwhile, fled the scene without stopping to render aid or identify themselves.
Torres said she was driving her daughter Ashley Gregorio and Gregorio's best friend, Delila Rangel, after the pair had finished baking gingerbread cookies together.
"The car hits me, and I blacked out," Torres said. "When I wake up, the car was destroyed and I see my daughter Ashley right next to me, unconscious."
Police initially said Torres was hospitalized with severe injuries, but Torres said she was not in fact seriously injured. Meanwhile, both girls are now at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in medically induced comas.
Rangel's mother, Lety Garcia, said her daughter suffered a serious brain injury.
"The doctors are just asking us to be patient, which is all that they could offer us right now due to the head trauma that my baby has," she told KTLA.
Torres said she is simply "praying a lot, having faith that they're both going to get out of this."
Police said they expect Winbon to face reckless driving and street racing charges, though they did not say that he had been arrested as of Thursday night.
Once the Mustang driver is found, that person will likely face the same counts in addition to a felony hit-and-run charge.
The Mustang was described as having black rims, a black rear wing spoiler and possibly a tan or light-colored interior.
LAPD has no information on the person behind the wheel, but Detective Ryan Moreno said the person was clearly aware of the severity of the situation.
"He knew that he was wrong, the way that he was driving after it happened," Moreno said. "He was still driving fast, trying to get out of the area."
Torres said she is counting on justice being served.
"It gets me angry because people are always doing that, and at the end it's innocent people that get hurt and have to go through this," she said.
The city of Los Angeles has a standing reward of $25,000 for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of drivers involved in injury hit-and-runs.
Anyone with information can reach Los Angeles police at 877-527-3247. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.