A suspected DUI driver was arrested after an alleged road-rage incident led to a multivehicle crash and killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child Saturday morning in Long Beach, authorities said.
Police responded to a crash shortly after 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and 52nd Street, the Long Beach Police Department said in a statement.
When they arrived, officers found three vehicles were involved in the collision, including a 2006 GMC pickup truck with three injured occupants.
Police said the driver of the GMC pickup truck was 26-year-old Miguel Larios, and he had been driving southbound on Long Beach Boulevard in north Long Beach “at a high rate of speed.”
A woman — who was determined to be eight months pregnant — and a 10-year-old boy, Larios’ son, were also riding in the truck with Larios, police said. The woman, a 23-year-old Long Beach resident, was identified by relatives as Krista Nichols.
Police said Larios “was involved in a road rage incident with a second vehicle for several blocks as the driver of the second vehicle attempted to disengage from the road rage incident.”
During the road rage incident, Larios collided with an uninvolved Toyota Corolla whose driver was trying to pull away from the curb near Mountain View Street and Long Beach Boulevard, according to police.
That’s when Larios “lost control of his vehicle and struck a parked, unoccupied pickup truck just north of 52nd Street,” police said in a news release.
First-responders rushed Larios and his passengers to the hospital after the crash, police said. He and the 10-year-old were suffering injuries that were not life-threatening, but Nichols and her unborn child suffered critical injuries, police said.
She and her unborn baby later died at the hospital, police said.
“The road rage, the drinking, driving behind the wheel — just senseless. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Adolfo Andrade, Nichols’ father.
A GoFundMe account has been set up in honor of Nichols and her unborn baby boy, who was to be named Christopher. She is survived by her 5-year-old son, Theodore.
“We don’t know how we’re going to break that to that poor, sweet boy who loved his mom so, so much,” said Nichols’ brother, Tyler Nichols.
“We’re going to miss our daughter Krista’s smile, that little crooked smile of hers, her laugh. Everything about her, we’re just going to miss her so much,” Andrade said.
Police said they arrested Larios on suspicion of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence and one count of child endangerment. He was being held on $200,000 bail, according to authorities.
Police asked anyone with information about the crash to call detectives Joseph Johnson or Kelsey Myers at 562-570-7355. Anonymous tips may be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or visiting www.LACrimeStoppers.org.