A suspected DUI driver plowed into a family as they were out for a walk in Irvine, killing the mother and injuring her husband and their two teenage children, police said Thursday.
A man living near Ridgeline and Turtle Rock drives said he was home when he heard the crash about 8 p.m. Wednesday and rushed outside.
Ali Kachueian arrived at the crash scene and found victims all around him.
Good Samaritans were trying to get the driver out of the car, which had continued down an embankment with one of the victims still underneath it, as others attended to the rest of the victims.
“A woman was lying on the ground, a boy and girl appeared to be injured and “we saw someone stuck under the car,” Kachueian said.
The “teenage girl, her face was full of blood,” Kachueian said. The girl’s brother also had some injuries and appeared to be in shock, he said.
Police said for unknown reasons, the driver traveled off the roadway and onto the sidewalk, striking the pedestrians. The SUV went over the side of the road and was stopped by a tree right above an apartment complex.
Authorities later confirmed the four victims were all members of the same family, describing them as a 45-year-old mother, her 49-year-old husband, and their 16-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter.
The girl kept saying, “Where’s my dad? Where’s my dad? Where’s my father?” area resident Catherine Gresh said. “We convinced her to sit down because she was losing blood and was not doing well,” she said.
All four family members were taken to local hospitals, where the mother died from her injuries sometime after 9 p.m., Irvine police stated.
The injuries to the other family members were described as “serious” by the Police Department following the crash.
The father was in surgery overnight and officials have not updated his condition. The teenagers’ injuries were not believed to be life threatening, a sergeant at the scene told KTLA.
None of the victims’ identities were released following the crash. It was not clear if the family lived in the area.
But local residents flocked to the scene Thursday night to lay flowers and pay respects to the woman killed.
“It’s tragic,” said Hope Sherwood-White, who lives near the site of the crash. “I mean, four lives ruined. It’s just really awful.”
The driver of the car stayed at the scene, police said. Video showed officers giving a field sobriety test to a man.
Police later announced the arrest of 37-year-old Irvine resident Kamal Attoh on suspicion of DUI. He was being held on $1 million bail, and his arraignment was scheduled for Friday.
Another Irvine resident who visited the makeshift memorial on Thursday, Tibor Polgar, said he feels pity for everyone involved, including Attoh.
“If he was impaired like that, he made a bad decision,” Polgar said. “Unfortunately, the family couldn’t make any choice. They were just walking here, in the wrong time in the wrong place. The guy, I feel sorry for him as well, because his life is done.”
A family of four was struck by a suspected impaired driver while they were walking on the sidewalk on Ridgeline in Irvine last night. The mother was killed and the father and teenagers are still in the hospital. @KTLA @KTLAMorningNews pic.twitter.com/3xesXPHiJf
— Chris Gierowski (@tepall14) May 17, 2018