An elderly woman was killed in West Covina when street racers crashed into a minivan in which she was riding.
Two suspected street racers were arrested for murder after causing a car accident on Christmas night that killed a 90-year-old woman in West Covina.
• Two men were street racing and ran a red light. One of them slammed into a Dodge van. The other fled the scene.
• A 90-year-old woman was riding in the van in a secured wheelchair. She was ejected on impact and died at the scene.
• The victim’s son, who was driving the van, suffered serious head injuries and was hospitalized.
• Both of the racing drivers were arrested on murder charges. The one who hit the van also was charged with felony drunk driving.
The fatal drunk driving accident occurred at 9 p.m., according to a report in the San Bernardino Sun.
West Covina police Lt. Jerry Pearman said 30-year-old Vincent Lopez of Rialto was street racing in a Mitsubishi Eclipse at the time of the deadly crash.
Lopez was racing against a Ford Escort driven by 34-yearold Victor Hugo Sanchez, also of Rialto, Pearman said.
The two vehicles were racing southbound on Lark Ellen Avenue from Cameron Avenue, according to witnesses, when they ran a red light at high speed. The Mitsubishi broadsided a Dodge Caravan that was traveling eastbound on Merced Avenue, Pearman said.
“At the time of the accident, the two were still racing,” West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez told CBS News. “Only one of the vehicles collided into the van. The other driver actually took off and went eastbound on Merced, and left the scene.”
The Dodge Caravan was driven by 72-year-old Jaime Ochoa, who was taking his mother — 90-year-old Celia La Torre of West Covina — home from Queen of the Valley Hospital, according to a CBS News report. La Torre was seated in a wheelchair that was secured inside the van.
When the Mitsubishi plowed into the Dodge van, La Torre was ejected from the vehicle. She died at the scene. Ochoa suffered a serious head injury and was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Lopez sustained a broken leg. He was arrested at the scene on charges of drunk driving and murder. He was then taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital, where he remained hospitalized. His passenger fled the scene on foot but was found nearby and questioned by police, Pearman said.
Sanchez was arrested Wednesday in Pomona. He was charged with murder.
Investigators said both men had been drinking in a bar in the 200 block of South Glendora Avenue less than an hour before the accident. Their bail was set at $1 million apiece, according to the Sun.
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