Highland Park Grandmother Struck in Crosswalk by Elderly Driver Dies

Four other people sustained injuries in the same accident.

By EGP & City News Service

One of five family members injured when they were hit by an SUV driven by an 87-year-old man as they crossed a Highland Park street has died, police said Monday.

Guadalupe Chavez, 59, the grandmother of the family, died Sunday. Her 10- year-old granddaughter Marina Carillo remained in critical condition, police said.

The collision occurred at 8:12 a.m. Friday in the 900 block of North Avenue 57, near Yorkdale Elementary School, Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Elderly driver may have pushed the gas pedal of his car, pictured, instead of brakes. (EGP photo by Jacqueline García)

Elderly driver may have pushed the gas pedal of his car, pictured, instead of brakes. (EGP photo by Jacqueline García)

A 32-year-old woman, a daughter of Chavez, and her two sons, ages 7 and 9, were listed in serious condition, LAFD Battalion Chief Steve Ruda said. The 10-year-old girl was a cousin, he said.

All three children were believed to be Yorkdale students.

It appears the elderly man — identified in broadcast reports as Luis Carbajal — accidentally stepped on the gas and ran a stop sign at the corner of Avenue 57 and Meridian St. and hit the pedestrians walking in the crosswalk, LAPD Officer Julius Wells told EGP at the scene.

The driver, who remained at the scene until picked up by a family member, was visibly upset. “He stopped in the middle of the street and he was just devastated,” Wilson Caraman, a nearby resident, told NBC4.

Officer Wells said the driver was not arrested because it appeared to be an accident and he did stop and was cooperating with police.

“He is going to have his license reevaluated and they are going to probably take it away, but that is up to the DMV,” Wells said shortly after the accident.

Whether that will change now that Chavez has died is unclear.

Police say the investigation is ongoing — patrol cars have been seen monitoring the area since the accident — and once it is complete police will turn over the investigation  to the District Attorney who will determine what action to take.

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January 30, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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