LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- An adult was injured and two girls were hospitalized -- fighting for their lives Thursday night, Dec. 13 after a violent crash caught on camera. Police are blaming street racing for the crash in South Los Angeles.
The collision happened at the corner of South Hoover Street and West Florence Avenue just before 9 p.m. Sunday.
Police said a street racer in a black Chevy Camaro was blazing down the road and smashed into a sedan, sending the vehicle into a utility pole. Inside were 9-year-old Ashley Gregorio and Delila Rangel, and a 24-year-old driver who was identified as Jazmin Torres.
Torres was making a left turn from westbound Florence Avenue to southbound Hoover Street when the eastbound black Chevrolet Camaro slammed into her vehicle. Police said the Camaro was racing a black Ford Mustang.
“Both vehicles were racing at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. After the collision, the driver of the black Ford Mustang fled the scene without providing aid or identifying themselves, as required by law,” police said in a written statement.
The driver of the Camaro, identified as Franklin Winbon, 39, also suffered major injuries in the crash, according to the LAPD.
The Mustang driver, meanwhile, fled the scene without stopping to render aid or identify themselves.
Torres said she was driving her daughter Ashley Gregorio and Gregorio's best friend, Delila Rangel, after the pair had finished baking gingerbread cookies together.
"The car hits me, and I blacked out," Torres said. "When I wake up, the car was destroyed and I see my daughter Ashley right next to me, unconscious."
Police initially said Torres was hospitalized with severe injuries, but Torres said she was not in fact seriously injured. Meanwhile, both girls are now at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in medically induced comas. Torres said she is simply "praying a lot, having faith that they're both going to get out of this."
“My instinct was ‘hey, nobody is helping them out!’ so I came outside,” said Kevin Lopez, who was working at a restaurant just feet from the accident. “The girls were very damaged. They were babies. Trust me, it hurt me.”
Lopez said he still can’t get the images of the girls’ injuries out of his head.
“What really hit me was the little girl that was in the passenger seat. I thought she wasn’t, you know...but I saw her eyes move a little, so then I was like 'I’m not gonna lay her in this position,' so I put my prayers for them,” he said.
Police said they expect Winbon to face reckless driving and street racing charges, though they did not say that he had been arrested as of Thursday night.
Once the Mustang driver is found, that person will likely face the same counts in addition to a felony hit-and-run charge.
The city of Los Angeles has a standing reward of $25,000 for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of drivers involved in injury hit-and-runs.
Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact LAPD Detective Moreno or Detective Flannery at 323-421-2500 from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those calling after hours are asked to call the South Traffic Division’s Watch Commander at 323-421-2577.