SOUTH LOS ANGELES – An armed robbery suspect trying to escape arrest caused a collision that sent seven people, including three children, to the hospital Wednesday, authorities said.

Three of the victims were in critical condition.

The crash occurred just after 1 p.m. at Broadway and West 81st Street.

According to Los Angeles Police, officers with LAPD’s Community Safety Unit were trying to arrest a man on an armed robbery warrant when he sped away in a BMW.

“The officers were in proximity but not behind him,” Lt. Kenneth Busiere told KTLA. “Their lights and sirens were not activated … The helicopter was overhead, and he may have been aware of the helicopter’s presence.”

  • South L.A. Crash
  • South L.A. Crash
  • South L.A. Crash

When the suspect reached the intersection of Broadway and West 81st, he slammed into a silver Hyundai Elantra carrying three adults and three children, Busiere said.

Another vehicle was also damaged in the collision.

The three adults in the Hyundai, a 40-year-old man, a 36-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man, were rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

The three children, all girls, were hospitalized in fair condition, LAFD said. They are five years old, four years old, and five months old.

The suspect, who Busiere said has a lengthy criminal history, sustained moderate injuries and was to be booked after he was released from the hospital. His name was not immediately released.