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2 Die, 8 Hurt in Pasadena as Vehicle Hits Crowd

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A sport utility vehicle driven by a 16-year-old boy careened into a crowd of pedestrians near the entrance to a school carnival in Pasadena on Saturday, trapping people beneath the vehicle and killing a woman and her daughter, police said.

The victims were identified as Sarah Karesh, 34, and her daughter, Madison, 4, said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Eight other people, including Howard Karesh, 35, the husband and father of the two killed, were injured in the accident in the Prospect Park area of Pasadena, a hilltop neighborhood of big trees and bigger homes, the type of place, a neighbor said, “where nothing bad has ever happened.”

The vehicle was northbound on the Prospect Boulevard bridge when it veered out of control and jumped onto a sidewalk crowded with people attending the Chandler School’s annual fund-raising fair.

Pasadena Police Department Sgt. Kevin Hall said the black Ford Bronco began hitting “pedestrian after pedestrian” as others ran screaming.

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Police had no immediate explanation for why the driver lost control. They said there was no evidence of drug or alcohol use.

After the crash, the driver, whose name was not released, sat with his head buried in his arms while another youth consoled him. The driver was led away in handcuffs after being arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

The accident happened about 3 p.m. The driver was alone in the vehicle, police said.

All 10 victims were going to or from the carnival.

A witness told NBC-4 that the mother and daughter who died were pinned beneath the vehicle.

“One boy was trapped in his stroller and upside down. You couldn’t see the child at all,” the witness said.

The eight injured people were taken to Huntington Memorial and County-USC hospitals.

One man’s leg was severed in the crash. He was identified as Philip Montoya Sr., 64, and was in critical condition after surgery. His son, Philip Montoya Jr., was in fair condition with fractures of both legs.

The injured included several small children.

Two adult women were admitted to County-USC. At least three people were treated for minor injuries at Huntington and released. Three others were admitted to the hospital: the man whose leg was severed, his adult son and a 4-year-old.

Officials from the school, a private elementary campus, declined to comment. The school grounds were closed to outsiders.

“We take our kids walking down this street all the time,” said Kathy Smith, a neighborhood resident. “It could have happened to any of us.”

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Two Killed

A Ford Bronco driven by a 16-year-old boy struck 10 people, killing a mother and her young daughter, after veering out of control while traveling north on the Prospect Boulevard bridge. The pedestrians who were struck had been attending a carnival at the Chandler School.


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