‘Our hearts are broken’: Mom killed, child injured walking to L.A. school

Police officers stand next to a canopy and a crashed pickup truck surrounded by crime scene tape near apartments
After hitting a mother and her 6-year-old daughter Tuesday morning in a crosswalk near Hancock Park Elementary School, a pickup truck plowed into a two-story apartment building on West Colgate Avenue, authorities said.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

A mother was killed and her 6-year-old daughter critically injured when they were hit by a likely impaired driver as they walked in a crosswalk near Hancock Park Elementary School on Tuesday morning, officials said.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said officers took the driver of the white pickup truck into custody after the fatal collision about 8 a.m in the Mid-Wilshire area.

“There are early signs that he is impaired, and that is a contributing factor in this horrific collision that resulted in the loss of this mother and the critical injuries to this young child,” Moore said.


After hitting the mother and daughter, the truck plowed into a two-story apartment complex in the 6200 block of Colgate Avenue, authorities said.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics declared the 35-year-old mother dead at the scene and rushed the 6-year-old girl to a hospital. The truck driver was also taken to a hospital in “moderate condition,” according to LAFD officials.

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LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow, who was overseeing the scene as investigators began to piece together the deadly incident, said it was “a tragedy beyond anybody’s imagination.”

“You have a child, 6 years old, that attends first grade here, presumably being walked to school by her mother and they’re struck by a vehicle,” Chow said to reporters at the scene. “It’s going to have implications not only obviously for the mother, but for the child, for the class, for the family. These types of things, unfortunately, affect many, many lives.”

The crash marked Los Angeles’ 48th pedestrian fatality this year, Moore said — essentially flat compared with the 50 deaths by mid-April last year, but up from 43 in the same time period in 2019.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, LAPD officers have seen a worrying trend that mirrors what is going on across the nation, Moore said, declaring that “the speed at which people are driving their vehicles, the distractions in which individuals are involved in social media or phones or other things … as well as an increase recently in DUI collisions, particularly in our fatal collisions, is troubling.”


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L.A. City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky, who represents the area, said there were “no words to convey how horrifying this act of traffic violence is.”

“Like tens of thousands of other parents in Los Angeles, I also walked my child to school today,” Yaroslavsky said. “It can be a terrifying experience, knowing that distracted drivers are traveling far above speed limits just feet from where our children walk.”

Yaroslavsky immediately called for a crossing guard at the intersection where the crash occurred and said she would “be strongly supporting” a plan before the Transportation Committee this week to install speed bumps around every elementary school in Los Angeles.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was involved in or witnessed the horrific traffic accident near Hancock Park Elementary School this morning,” Los Angeles schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho said in a statement, adding that mental health counselors are available on-site for students and employees.

School board member Nick Melvoin added: “Our hearts are broken over the death of a Hancock Park Elementary parent in a brazen traffic accident this morning — and our prayers are with her daughter who remains in the hospital.”