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Posted: December 18, 2014

3 killed, several children hurt after driver plows into crowd after Christmas church event


Compiled from web and wire reports


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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A female motorist hit a group of pedestrians outside a California church as a Christmas service ended, killing three and leaving several others critically injured, police said.

According to Los Angeles TV station KNBC, witnesses said up to 12 people, many children, were hit in the crash, which happened around 8 p.m. in Redondo Beach.

"The crosswalk was full and the light was red," witness Marco Zonno told KNBC. "Someone ran the red light and bodies started flying. It was pretty horrible."


Some of the pedestrians were rushed to hospitals with critical injuries, Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman said.

KNBC reports Mary Wilson, 81,  and Saeko Imatsumura, 87, both from Torrance, Calif.,  were confirmed dead by the LA County Coroner. The third person has yet to be identified. Police initialy said only one person was killed.

The woman was driving a white sedan northbound when she ran a red light, ran into the pedestrians and hit another vehicle after. KNBC reports victims' shoes littered the street following the incident.

The woman was taken in police custody to a hospital, where she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said. They were investigating whether she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The California Highway Patrol was assisting Redondo Beach police in the investigation.

The crash comes three days after another driver now charged with drunken driving injured 11 people who were parked and looking at a holiday light display in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra.

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