SANTA FE SPRINGS (CBSLA.com) — A prayer vigil was held Monday for a 7-year-old girl fatally struck by a vehicle at an indoor car show Sunday night.
Family members say Mia Chapman was attending a customized auto show where cars are designed to hop. She was reportedly struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle believed to be exiting the warehouse after the show ended.
Her parents were reportedly too distraught to attend the vigil, but family and friends in the Lowrider community gathered outside of the warehouse.
The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. in the 10200 block of Freeman Avenue in Santa Fe Springs, the Whittier Police Department said.
A spokesman for the Whittier Police Department confirmed the show took place inside the warehouse, which houses a hydraulic auto body shop known for customizing cars.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they found Chapman inside and a car that had sustained damage to its front end and windshield. The driver remained on the scene and was questioned by police.
Officials said the child suffered traumatic injuries to her body.
Crews also found a collapsed shelving unit that had held multiple pallets of bottled water.
Police confirmed the vehicle lost control and drove into the pallets. It is unclear if Chapman was killed when the vehicle struck her or if the pallets fell on her after she was struck.
“It wasn’t the car that struck the girl it was the pallets that fell down,” said onlooker Al Carr, who said he spoke to the driver of the car Monday morning.
“From what I hear is that the gas got stuck and hit the side of a water case,” said Mercy Vecerra. “It is really scary…my heart just dropped. It’s just not a place for kids.”
More than 200 people attended the show and dozens of cars were said to be inside when the accident took place. The owner of the warehouse declined to comment.
Many of those in the Lowrider community who attended the car show where Mia was killed were among those gathered at Monday’s vigil.
“She loved to be happy, she was smart, she was a leader, very respectful,” said Patricia Scott, her great aunt. “She was a beautiful young lady. A little bitty young lady who never got a chance to see the rest of her life.”
The Whittier Police Department are still investigating the accident but said no arrests have been made.