UPDATE: Street racing to blame in ‘horrific’ crash that killed 1 near Cabrillo High, police say

A pedestrian was killed in a high-speed crash that involved two cars at Santa Fe Avenue and Hill Street in West Long Beach, according to authorities.

Police said a Lexus IS200 sedan involved in a street race smashed into a Honda Odyssey minivan at that intersection around 6:45 p.m. Monday.

The Lexus and a Nissan sports car were speeding southbound on Santa Fe when they crossed paths with the minivan that was headed east on Hill, police said.

After the collision, the Lexus went spinning into a pedestrian, according to police. Multiple people called 911 about the crash, and when first-responders arrived they found a “horrific accident,” LBPD Lt. Robert Bernsen said.

The pedestrian, a 59-year-old Long Beach woman named Josephine Espiritu, died at the scene, police said. She had been crossing the street legally when she was hit, according to Bernsen.

Officials said at least one person was killed in a crash at Santa Fe Avenue and Hill Street on May 11, 2020. Photo by Jamies Shuford.

The driver of the Lexus and the driver of the minivan were also taken to the hospital.

“It was pretty bad,” Bernsen said.

The minivan’s driver had only minor injuries, but the Lexus’ driver was in critical but stable condition and is still at the hospital, according to police. Detectives are expected to present a case against him to the district attorney’s office, which will consider filing charges. Police don’t believe drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Authorities are also trying to find the Nissan involved in the street race, authorities said. Its driver kept going after the crash, fleeing the scene, according to a news release.

Police described it as a black Nissan 350Z with a slatted window covering on the back window.

Investigators asked anyone with details about what happened to call Det. Allen Duncan at 562-570-7355.

Police and fire officials blocked off Santa Fe Avenue at Hill Street after a violent crash on May 11, 2020. Photo by Jamies Shuford.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with more information from police.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.
- ADVERTISEMENT -

More