SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 24-year-old woman who crashed her car into an apartment complex in South Los Angeles, killing a 5-year-old boy and injuring several others, has been arrested, police announced Thursday.
The crash was reported just after midnight in the 2800 block of South Central Avenue, according to police.
Upon their arrival, authorities found a mother, father and their 5-year-old son pinned underneath a vehicle inside their ground floor apartment.
Paramedics transported the victims, along with two other girls aged six and 12, to USC Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.
The boy succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. His identity is being withheld pending family notification.
An update on the conditions of the other victims was not immediately known.
A preliminary investigation revealed the driver crashed through the wall of a bedroom inside the family’s apartment.
The father jumped in front of his son in an effort to protect him from the oncoming vehicle, which subsequently lead to them both being pinned underneath the car’s tire.
CBS2’s Jasmine Viel reported the boy was sleeping on the couch with his parents when the car barreled through the wall.
According to a police lieutenant, the driver claimed another vehicle cut her off, which caused her vehicle to swerve and crash into the building. The female driver was arrested at the scene for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Detectives are searching for a 1995-1999 vehicle that may have been involved in the crash.
Authorities located a letter written to Santa on top of the rubble inside the apartment.
Police said the note, which asked for a bicycle for Christmas, was written by the young boy who was killed.
A prayer vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at the family’s apartment.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident has been urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division at (213) 486-8344.