SYLMAR (CNS) – A Sylmar family today was mourning the loss of an 87-year-old grandmother who was killed when the parked car she was exiting was struck by a suspected impaired driver.
Police said the crash occurred about 8:45 p.m. Thursday in the 14000 block of Foothill Boulevard, where a northbound Ford Fusion struck the parked vehicle. The female driver of the parked car was not seriously injured, but her passenger was thrown from the vehicle and onto the ground, police said.
The woman died of her injuries.
The allegedly impaired driver of the Fusion continued north on Foothill, eventually striking several other vehicles before coming to a stop. Police identified the driver as 33-year-old Juan Martinez, who police say had a previous DUI and was booked on suspicion of murder.
He was jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, according to sheriff’s records.
The victim’s son, Joel Reynozo, told reporters his mother and the other woman were returning from church when the crash occurred. His mother was being dropped off at home.
Reynozo told KCAL9 the force of the crash threw his mother clear of the parked car, and she landed on her head on the ground.
He said he ran outside the family home when he heard the collision, and found his injured mother.
“My mom was a giver,” he told KTLA5. “She always, always attended to people. She loved people. She was a great cook, an awesome cook. My mother was just … constantly helping people. My mom was old school, they don’t make ‘em like that any more.”