WESTLAKE (CBSLA) — A minivan went out of control and hit two men on a sidewalk in LA’s Westlake District. That car then plowed into a Winchell’s Donuts shop.
LA City Fire said the pedestrians went to the hospital in grave condition. One of the victims has been pronounced dead.
It happened Sunday afternoon on the 2100 block of Beverly Boulevard. Police say the minivan’s driver was also hurt.
Police say they will be booking the driver on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
“Alcohol was a key factor in this traffic collision,” said LAPD Capt. Al Lopez.
The damage to the donut shop was minor but building inspectors will check it out.
CBSLA’s Cristy Fajardo interviewed witnesses who said they saw the van heading down Alvarado before suddenly veering across the lanes and smashing into the building.
Witnesses said it happened so quickly there was no time for anyone on the sidewalk to react.
Friends of the victims say the driver got out and just ran away. A friend of the victims said she began to chase him and grabbed him. She says he actually begged her to let him go but she says she held on even after the man’s wife arrived and tried to take him away. By that time witnesses say that police got there and arrested the driver.
“He was laying there and it was so scary,” said Lily Kelly, a friend of one of the victims. “Blood’s coming out of his mouth. You are in shock but you are like losing it.”
The friends say that both of the victims are part of a very tight-knit group of transients who look out for each other.