BALDWIN PARK (CBSLA) — Family and friends are mourning a 17-year-old girl who died after being struck by a car while crossing a street in Baldwin Park.

The crash happened at 9:55 p.m. Monday in a marked crosswalk in the area of Pacific and Vineland avenues, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Jorge Huerta. The girl who was killed was identified Tuesday morning as Catherine Gomez of Baldwin Park, a girl described as “the big love of our family” who just celebrated her birthday last month.

Catherine and her boyfriend, Ramon Ramirez Jr., had just bought tacos for dinner and were going home when her friend, Valentine Mejia, says he saw the driver run a red light and hit the couple.

Mejia placed flowers at the scene in her memory.

“Two white roses, just to show her that we’re going to miss her,” he said.

Gomez was killed and her boyfriend’s leg was broken in the crash. His father, Ramon Ramirez Sr., says his son is still in surgery and does not know yet that his girlfriend is dead.

Police have not yet released any accident details, but Valentine said when he saw the crash, he ran from his apartment across the street and grabbed the keys out of the driver’s hand to keep her from leaving.

The driver was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. She was also taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Police alcohol or drugs did not appear to be a factor in the crash.

Gomez was a student at North Park High School, where counselors will be with students and staff Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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