NORTH HILLS (CBSLA) — A North Hills family is in mourning Monday after a mother of 3 was killed while trying to protect her 2-year-old daughter from an allegedly impaired driver, right in front of their home.
Police say an impaired driver slammed into six parked cars along Woodley Avenue late Sunday night, hitting 34-year-old Ruth Chinchilla, who was holding her daughter after taking her out of the car. Chinchilla was thrown 30 feet, while her daughter was thrown 60 feet, police said.
Her cousin, Abel Ibanez, says her family was the center of her life. He believes her last act was to protect her daughter, who suffered broken bones and internal bleeding, but will recover from her injuries.
“She would do anything for her family,” Ibanez said.
Chinchilla was pronounced dead at the scene. She died in front of her family’s home, surrounded by her loved ones.
A neighbor said the scene was heart wrenching, with her family surrounding her, crying loudly.
“It was terrible,” he said.
Jose Macias, 22, was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the crash in the 8800 block of North Woodley Avenue and was being held on $2 million bond Monday.
Police would not comment on previous arrests, but did say Macias’ criminal history and evidence at the scene led to the aggressive charge.
Macias is a defendant in at least one misdemeanor case currently making its way through the court system.
A neighbor who spoke to Macias shortly after the crash told CBS2 Macias told him he was falling asleep when the collision happened.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)