LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — There were heavy hearts and candlelight at the spot Friday night where two children lost their lives as they walked along this sidewalk. Margaret Ramirez brought a statue of the Virgin Mary – for her it’s a symbol of strength.

Seven-year-old Jose Hernandez and his 9-year-old brother Mario are dead as a result of a collision involving a Los Angeles County sheriff’s patrol car and two other vehicles. Their mother is in critical condition.

“The two kids are in gods hands,” Ramirez, who knows the mother of the two kids, said. “I know that the mom is going to be suffering – very very hard for her. Losing two kids.”

The crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles as deputies were responding to a report of a gunshot victim.

The force of the collision caused the patrol vehicle to hit two little boys and their mother on a sidewalk. The second car struck a third vehicle, causing injuries to two adult pedestrians in a crosswalk.

The sheriff’s department has confirmed that the deputy driving the car was a trainee.  The call was a Code 3, which means lights and sirens should have been on. Video shows that lights were on but it’s unclear if sirens were.  A witness says nobody had enough warning to get out of the way because the lights went on just before crash and she claims that sirens were not on.

Dave Lopez has more on the investigation 

 

The mom was critically injured, and her two sons, ages 7 and 9, suffered fatal injuries, said LAPD spokesman Officer Tony Kuey. One boy died at the scene and the other died at a hospital, he said.

Police say that out of seven people taken to hospitals, five had relatively minor injuries, including two sheriff’s deputies.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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