REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - Pedestrians were filing out of a church Christmas service when a car sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd before hitting another car head-on, police and witnesses said. Three people were killed, and several more were injured, California authorities said.
"Someone ran the red light, and bodies started flying. It was pretty horrible," witness Marco Zonno told KNBC-TV.
Within moments of the crash Wednesday night along California's famed Pacific Coast Highway, people were at the sides of victims lying in the street, said Mark Milutin, 26, who was in one of the cars stopped at the light.
"It was a very fast reaction," he said. "Two or three people were around each victim."
Margo Bronstein, 56, was arrested after the crash on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, Redondo Beach Police Lt. Shawn Freeman said.
Five children and eight adults, including the suspect and the other driver, suffered injuries including broken bones, abrasions, and head trauma, Freeman said. Three people, Mary Anne Wilson, 81; Saeko Matsumura, 87; and Martha Gaza, 36, all of Torrance, later died, police said.
At least two people remained in critical condition Thursday morning, Freeman said.
Members of the crowd had just attended a Christmas program at St. James Catholic Church put on by students at the church's school.
Bronstein was held on $300,000 bail and scheduled to appear in court on Friday. Officials said they do not have information linking her to any prior arrests or DUI-related incidents.