The driver of a white Lexus sedan fled the scene on foot after causing a fatal collision involving three other cars in the intersection of Carson Street and Clark Avenue about 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15.
Will Nash, Long Beach Fire Department public information officer, said a female in her 30’s was driving a white Toyota Supra and was killed in the collision.
She was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:17 a.m. The Los Angeles County coroner could not release the identity. Authorities did not release her name because her family had not been officially notified.
The driver of the Lexus, a 21-year-old male, identified as Mario Ivan Palasox, was arrested in connection with the crash, police said. Accident investigator detective Sirilo Garcia said Palasox will probably be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and hit and run.
Whether Palasox was under the influence of any substance is still being investigated, police said. He was not a student at LBCC, Garcia said.
The body of the female remained in the vehicle and was removed by the coroner around 1:30 p.m. Two victims in the white Scion were transported to a nearby hospital on basic life support with non-life threatening injuries, Nash said, and their names were not released.
Victor Munoz, 21, a former LBCC student who lives across from the P Building, said he pulled a man and a woman out of the Scion, but when he went back to the Supra, he was unable to pull the woman from the car because the door would not budge.
“I tried to break the glass on the Supra, but couldn’t and then I saw the body just lying there. I just feel terrible,” Munoz said.
The suspect was located in the parking lot north of the Auditorium at LAC where he was detained and positively identified as the person in the collision who fled, Garcia said.
About an hour and a half after the collision, LBCC officials sent an emergency text alert saying, “Due to traffic accident investigation, the intersection of Carson and Clark will be closed for several hours. Find alternative routes. Thank you.”
Hannah Griffith, 20, photography major and neighbor of the woman who died, said, “She was so sweet, she always rode her bike everywhere. One day I even helped her pump air into her tires.” The boyfriend of Griffith’s mother reported seeing the woman driving off in her car minutes before she was fatally struck.
Students and teachers were late to class as a result of one of the busiest intersections in Long Beach being closed. Bus routes and traffic were rerouted for more than four hours.