Drunk Driver Kills 3 Churchgoers in Redondo Beach
On December 17, three people were killed and several others were injured when a DUI suspect drove into a crowd of people leaving a children’s Christmas concert in Redondo Beach. The number of victims may be as high as 12 ─ five of them children. The victims were leaving St. James Catholic Church, after watching children sing Christmas songs for their families and other members of the congregation.
The three people killed included 81-year-old Mary Wilson, 87-year-old Saeko Matsumura and 36-year-old Martha Gaza, who all resided in nearby Torrance. Gaza’s five-year-old son was also hospitalized in critical condition. Another adult was also listed in critical condition the day after the incident.
Driver held on $300,000 bond
The suspect has been identified as 56-year-old Margo Bronstein. She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and suspected felony DUI. Bronstein was treated for injuries at a local hospital prior to being taken to the Redondo Beach Police Department, where she is currently being held on $300,000 bond.
In a news conference held on Thursday, December 18 ─ the day after the crash ─ police confirmed that Bronstein may have been under the influence of prescription medication. An investigation is currently pending.
“At the very minimum, prescription medication is involved,” said Redondo Beach Police Lt. Joe Hoffman.
Msgr. Michael Myers was at the children’s Christmas concert and witnessed the chilling aftermath of the accident.
Meyers said the crosswalk was filled with people leaving the church when the driver plowed through it. He described the situation as a “very difficult scene.” Meyers said the victims’ shoes were scattered all over the street and some of the victims lined up to wait for paramedics to arrive, while others stayed in the street.
“Nobody was worrying about the driver at the time, we had so many people on the ground,” Meyers said. He noted that last rites were administered to some of the victims.
The white sedan driven by Bronstein ultimately crashed into another vehicle after striking the pedestrians. The second vehicle encountered extreme front-end damage and both the windshield and rear window were shattered.
Los Angeles DUI accident lawyer
The legal blood alcohol level to safely get behind the wheel and drive in California is 0.08% or below. People may make the choice to drive when they’ve had too much to drink, putting the safety of everyone else on the road in jeopardy. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, it’s important to have someone on your side to make sure your interests are properly represented. You may need to file a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical bills, time away from work and the pain and suffering you endured.
Call 310-641-3335 to schedule a complimentary case review with a Los Angeles DUI accident lawyer at the Ellis Injury Law firm today. Our team has more than two decades of experience representing the rights of innocent victims like you. We’re here to help you determine whether any additional steps need to be taken and if so, we’ll serve as your trusted adviser throughout the entire process.