A hit-and-run driver killed a grandmother and injured the two grandchildren she was walking home from school in La Mirada Wednesday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The crash occurred in the 14800 block of Escalona Road, blocks away from Escalona Elementary School, around 1:25 p.m., Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said.
Investigators determined the woman was walking with her grandchildren, a boy and girl, in the gutter on the east side of the road when all three were struck by a sedan traveling the same direction, north. They were walking in the gutter because the street doesn't have sidewalks.
The grandmother was transported to the hospital in critical condition, where she was later pronounced dead, the Sheriff's Department said.
The children were also both hospitalized with minor injuries, Schrader said.
L.A. County Fire Department had said there were two patients in critical condition, but it was unclear if the second critical patient was one of the children.
No suspects have been identified, but officials described the driver as a male. Investigators were still looking into whether there were other occupants in the vehicle.
Authorities were searching for a dark gray, four-door, 2015-2017 Toyota Camry with damage to its front and right side, according to Schrader. Officials at the scene had initially described the suspect vehicle as a late-model, gray, four-door Honda Civic.
Aerial footage from Sky 5 showed a group of residents looking on as officers worked at the scene of the collision in a residential area, blocking off traffic on Escalona Road with police tape.
The unidentified deceased woman’s husband was at the scene of the collision. He said he got a call about what happened from his daughter, who was with the children, aged 6 and 9, at the hospital.
Juan Chavarria said his family lives close to where the crash happened and that he often went with his wife to pick the children up from school.
“I don’t understand what happened,” Chavarria said in Spanish while his wife was at the hospital.
Area residents said the woman was often seen walking through the neighborhood with her grandkids. They also said the road can be dangerous for pedestrians since it lacks sidewalks.
“A lot of people speed down here really fast, and you have kids crossing when school comes out,” Maria Gonzalez told KTLA.
Jaber Rahmany blamed the incident on lack of local government action.
“I go to high school every day to drop off my daughter and there’s no sidewalk,” he said. “All the kids are walking in the street, and the city won’t do anything about it. It’s the city’s fault.”
Escalona Road between Ashgrove and Oakbury drives was closed during the investigation.
KTLA's Cindy Von Quednow and Erika Martin contributed to this report.