A 6-year-old boy is the fourth victim to die from his injuries after a crowd of people was struck by a car following a Christmas concert outside a church in Redondo Beach, coroner’s officials said Friday.
Samuel Gaza, a kindergartner who had suffered head trauma and a bruised lung, died overnight at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, said Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
His mother, Martha Gaza, 36, of Torrance, was also killed in Wednesday night’s crash outside St. James Catholic Church. His father remains hospitalized.
Torrance residents Mary Ann Wilson, 81, and Saeko Matsumura, 87, also died in the crash. Eight others, including four children, were hurt, authorities said.
Margo Bronstein, 56, of Redondo Beach was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after police said she drove through a red light and hit families leaving the church. She suffered minor injuries, and is being jailed on $300,000 bail. She is due to appear in a Torrance courtroom Friday.
Redondo Beach police said they believe that Bronstein was under the influence of prescription medication, but have declined to say what type of medication. Police said results from a toxicology report are not available and will not be available until prosecutors review the case.
Bronstein, who friends said relied on a motorized wheelchair, had a clean driving history. She was, however, restricted to driving a car with hand-controlled brakes, authorities said.
The Gaza family of five, along with Wilson and Matsumura, both grandmothers, were part of a crowd that had gone to the church to take part in and watch the Christmas concert.
After the concert ended at about 8 p.m., they were among the group that left the church and entered a crosswalk on Vincent Street. Bronstein was driving north on Pacific Coast Highway and struck them, police said.
Still carrying pedestrians on her car, Bronstein continued driving and headed onto the southbound lanes of PCH, where she collided head-on with another vehicle, police said.
Mike Brinda said Wilson, his mother-in law, was excited about seeing her two grandchildren perform in the concert.
Instead of being picked up outside of the church, Wilson decided to walk to her son’s car parked in a nearby lot, Brinda said. She wanted to get some exercise in before the night was over, he said.
“This is the thing we see on TV happen to other people all the time,” Brinda said. “This time we are the other people.”
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