A police pursuit in Crenshaw ended with an SUV crashing into a house, killing an 86-year-old woman and injuring a man in their home early Saturday, authorities said.
Los Angeles police officers from the Southeast Division were en route to the South Traffic Division around 1:20 a.m. when a driver rear-ended their patrol car near Hobart and Martin Luther King boulevards, the LAPD said in a news release.
The officers got out of their car and tried to approach the vehicle that rear-ended them. But the driver fled northbound on Western Avenue, and police started chasing the suspect for reckless driving, authorities said.
During the pursuit, the driver traveled west on 39th Street. When the suspect approached Buckingham Road, he tried to turn but lost control, skidding off the roadway and crashing into the bedroom of a single-story home, the LAPD said.
Two elderly residents, a man and a woman, got trapped under the SUV as a result of the crash, police said. The officers involved in the pursuit immediately tried to extract the trapped victims.
Paramedics arrived at the scene and pronounced the woman, identified as Aida Villavicencio, 86, dead at the scene. The woman’s 90-year-old husband suffered a head trauma and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
The couple’s daughter was also in the home at the time of the crash.
“She was a loving person, very generous, cared about people, a hard working immigrant” Paulina Zamudio, the victim’s daughter said. “It’s a great loss to us but everybody else that knew her also will miss her.”
Zamudio says her parents were married for 66 years and had 5 children.
The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Eliseo Ixchopcalel, was taken into custody and was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Police said Ixchopcalel was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Fire Department said a natural gas line was severed as a result of the crash. Firefighters and utility crews quickly worked to contain the natural gas leak, and Southern California Gas Co. has since shut the gas off.