Car Plows Through Los Angeles Crowd, Killing One and Injuring Scores

Los Angeles Times, USA Today

Car Into Beachgoers

A fast moving car plowed through a crowd of people Saturday evening in Los Angeles, killing one person and injuring 11 others, according to media reports.

Los Angeles police did not give details on the identity of the person who died.

Reports say that the car was driven by a man who went pummeling straight into the crowd at the Venice Boardwalk, one of Southern California’s most popular sidewalks. It left mayhem in its wake as it sped out of sight.

Horrified eye witnesses said there was screaming and general chaos at the scene.

“There was people kind of stumbling around, blood dripping down their legs looking confused not knowing what had happened, people screaming,” Louisa Hodge, 35, said. She said she was at the Venice Beach boardwalk with a friend visiting from San Diego. “It was blocks and blocks of people just strewn across the sidewalk.”

Hodge said she saw one man and woman lying next to each other, wearing head braces and barely able to move.

“They were just laying next to each other and grasping hands, just a man and a woman holding hands.”

Reports said there were hundreds of people, including families with children, sitting at outdoor cafes, and walking along the shops. They went on a mad scramble as the speeding car came pummeling down.

Media reports say a security video captured a man in a baseball cap, a gray shirt and white pants parking his black car alongside the seaside boardwalk at dusk. He parked next to the Cadillac Hotel. The video shows the man surveying the sidewalk scene for several minutes before getting back into the car and hurtling into the crowd. He reportedly swerved around yellow poles meant to prevent cars getting into pedestrian-only areas.

“I heard a big ‘boom, boom,’ like the sound of someone going up and down the curb, it was super loud,” Alex Hagan, 22, who was working the desk at the Cadillac Hotel, said.

Los Angeles police said a man walked into a Santa Monica police station an hour later and claimed he was involved in the boardwalk case. Police had already put out word they were looking for a black car driven by a man in his 20s.

According to reports, detectives were questioning the man, only saying he was a person of interest. They said they were and attempting to determine whether he was the driver. Police only would say it remained “an active investigation.”

Accounts say, according to witnesses, that the driver seemed to be in control of the car and seemed purposefully to be driving into the crowd of people. Some said they believed the driver was traveling at a speed of 60 mph when the crash occurred near the intersection of Dudley Avenue around 6.p.m.

The Venice Boardwalk. where the car plowed through the crowd, is famed for its shops, galleries, restaurants, skateboard parks and the famous outdoor weight room known as Muscle Beach.

It reportedly draws as many as 150,000 people on summer weekends.

By Perviz Walji