An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was involved in a deadly crash that took the life of a 12-year-old boy and left his 19-year-old sister injured in South Gate earlier this month, authorities confirmed Thursday.
The crash occurred as Isaiah Suarez Rodriguez and his sister Alexa were traveling on San Juan Avenue shortly before 4 p.m. Nov. 3.
The passenger side of their car, where Isaiah was sitting, was t-boned by a pickup truck at the Firestone Boulevard intersection, according to a GoFundMe page for the family.
Aerial video from the day of the crash showed their overturned vehicle where it came to a stop several feet from point of impact.
Three adults and one juvenile were transported to local hospitals with injuries, the South Gate Police Department stated in a news release.
Isaiah, the only juvenile involved in the crash, died at the hospital shortly after the crash.
His injured sister Alexa had tried to wrap her brother’s head with her sweater to stop the bleeding before they were taken to the hospital, according to the GoFundMe page.
Isaiah wanted to be a chef when he grew up and was a big Dodgers and Lakers fan, according to this family.
Speed was believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, but the cause is still under investigation, the Police Department stated in their news release following the incident.
The Sheriff’s Department confirmed Thursday that an off-duty deputy was in the other vehicle involved in the crash.
“Our hearts go out those injured in the crash, as well as the family and loved ones of the deceased. This case is currently being investigated by South Gate Police Department and until their investigation is completed, we are unable to offer further comment,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Family members who set up a GoFundMe page for the Suarez family identified the boy’s mother as Betsabe (Betsa) Suarez and said the emotional toll has been “devastating.”
“Like many people, she is a single mom struggling to make ends meet but always making sure her kids had everything they need. The emotional toll has been devastating. With your help, we are hoping to relieve some of her financial burden,” the page read.
A small memorial of candles and flowers could be seen at the crash site Thursday morning.
Neighbors are also calling for action to be taken to make the streets safer in the area.
Fernando Rodriguez, who’s lived in the neighborhood since 1977, said Firestone Avenue has been “dangerous … since I can remember” and encouraged drivers to operate their vehicles safely.
“It takes for somebody to die to get the attention we got,” Rodriguez said.