A community is mourning after a high-speed crash killed a beloved mother and grandmother in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday.
The victim was identified as Kathy Chavez, 45, a mother of four and a grandmother of one.
Police say Chavez was on her way to work at the Castaic post office when a speeding Chevrolet Corvette ran through a red light and slammed into her vehicle.
The crash happened around 3:45 a.m. on the 6400 block of North Balboa Boulevard in the Sepulveda Basin.
Devastated friends and loved ones gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember Chavez on Wednesday night.
“She just overall, brought so much good into the world,” said Kayla Bastedo, Chavez’s friend. “No matter what struggles she was going through, she was always a really kind person.”
The Corvette was traveling around 90 to 100 mph at the time, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The high-speed collision left Chavez’s vehicle completely overturned. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 31-year-old Corvette driver later died at the hospital while the vehicle’s passenger, a person in their 20s, was transported to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.
Identities of the Corvette driver and passenger have not been released.
Chavez’s loved ones are still in shock as they grieve the loss of the beloved mother and friend.
“This hits hard,” said Michelle Matsuo, a friend of Chavez’s. “I didn’t just lose my best friend, I lost my sister.”
“It’s something I can’t even process,” said Alize Vasquez, another friend. “I think of all the memories. She was just here.”
“The [Corvette] driver was in bad shape, but the passenger was still conscious,” recalls Manny Ayla, a bystander who ran over to help. “We tried to pull him out, but the door was stuck.”
Flying debris from the violent, high-speed collision shattered half a dozen windows of nearby businesses while destroying a large metal strip mall sign.
“I’ve known her for 20 years working together,” said Rocelio Erazo, Chavez’s coworker. “I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to cry.”
The deadly crash remains under investigation. Police have not confirmed whether drugs or alcohol may have played a factor.