A driver and passenger were killed in an apparent street race when their vehicle crashed into a firetruck, injuring four crewmembers, in West Compton Tuesday.
The crash was reported around 12:30 a.m. as the engine company was responding to a medical incident, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesperson Craig Little said.
The truck was traveling down Avalon Boulevard when it was hit by the civilian vehicle traveling on Compton Boulevard, Little said. Surveillance video obtained by KTLA shows the moment of impact between the two vehicles.
Four crewmembers were transported to a local hospital with non-critical injuries.
“Unfortunately, the two members of the civilian vehicle were fatalities,” he said.
The victims were identified by a California Highway Patrol spokesperson as a man and a woman. A woman who said she is a sister of the passenger identified her as 25-year-old Asia Allen-Bookman, the mother of a 3-year-old child.
Witnesses said the vehicle that hit the truck was racing another vehicle at speeds around 80 mph when the crash occurred.
A CHP official confirmed that they are looking into the possibility of racing as a factor, but indicated the incident remains under investigation.
Those who knew Allen-Bookman, however, find it hard to believe she would be involved in any kind of racing activity.
Her sister, Tiffany Acker, told KTLA that Allen-Bookman was on the phone with a friend and told that person they were being chased when the crash occurred.
“My sister wasn’t speed racing, my sister wasn’t irresponsible. She’s 25 years old. At 25 you do silly things, but my sister knew she had a child to get home to,” Acker said.
Derrick Cooper, a friend, said loved ones need answers.
“There’s more to it than this, she doesn’t sound like the type of person that’s reckless,” Cooper said. “I don’t have all the answers but it just doesn’t add up.”
“Her daughter was everything to her,” said Derrick Cooper, the head of LA City Wildcats Youth Academy, where Asia’s daughter attends. “Asia would not put her life in jeopardy and not be able to return to her daughter.”
Authorities are searching for the second vehicle, described as a blue Honda Civic, that was involved in the incident.
The message loved ones have for the suspect?
“You know who you are,” Cooper said. “Do the right thing. Turn yourself in.”
The four firefighters involved in the crash were released from the hospital on Tuesday night. CHP officials are still investigating to determine the events leading up to the deadly collision.
A GoFundMe page was created to help Asia’s family with funeral expenses and to care for her young daughter.
A vigil has been planned for Thursday night. Compton Boulevard at Avalon Boulevard was closed for hours amid the investigation but was eventually reopened.