Elyzza Guajaca dying: Arrest made in South Los Angeles avenue takeover crash that killed girl, LAPD says
SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) — An arrest has been made in connection with the death of a woman in her 20s who was fatally struck by a car during a street takeover in South LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood last month, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the arrest to ABC7 but declined to release additional details. More information about the arrest is expected to be disclosed at a Tuesday morning news conference.
The victim, identified by relatives as Elyzza Guajaca, was struck shortly after 9 pm on Dec. 25 by a black Chevrolet Camaro while standing with a group of people at the northeast corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue, according to the LAPD. She was transported to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.
The driver involved in the collision fled the scene, authorities said.
LAPD detectives said six or seven additional victims were seen on videos obtained in the days after the incident. Investigators sought the public’s help in identifying them.
LAPD officials on Dec. 28 released videos that they found or were sent to them, showing the moments after the street takeover. In the footage, people can be seen helping others who appeared to be injured. At least three appeared to be critically injured.
Guajaca’s brother, Louie, set up a GoFundMe page online to help raise money for her funeral expenses.
“My sister was an aunty to my beautiful girls who loved her so much,” Louie Guajaca said in the appeal. “She was a beautiful sister who loved big. She was a daughter who always wanted to be with (family) around and have family time. She was the rock to our family. She was just a good, goofy, funny, outgoing person. She loved all her close friends and family.”
Activist and author Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said he witnessed part of the deadly street takeover and called on Mayor Karen Bass and the City Council to declare a state of emergency on such takeovers, similar to the declaration recently issued by the mayor on homelessness.
“Street takeovers present — as witnessed by the death at Florence and Crenshaw and numerous injuries to life and damage to property at other takeover sites in the city — a grave problem for city officials,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “It has sparked community outrage and demand for stepped up action. A state of emergency will further empower law enforcement and citizens to concentrate time, energy and resources on this deadly problem.”
Street takeovers, in general, have become popular over the past few years and the LAPD has suggested stricter penalties for anyone who participates in them.
Detective Ryan Moreno said about 200 people were in the intersection during the street takeover.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the LAPD’s South Traffic Division at (323) 421-2500. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at lacrimestoppers.org.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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