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Lancaster Commissioner Killed In Crash Remembered As Compassionate, Dedicated

LANCASTER (CBSLA)  -- The reactions to her death on social media -- from the mayor's office, friends, people she touched -- would indicate Shannon McDonald was a special soul.

A longtime Lancaster resident, she is not only remembered as a mother and grandmother but for her compassion, hard work and dedication. She was also an LA Commissioner.

More than one person described her as one of a kind, reports CBS2/KCAL9's Jake Reiner.

McDonald was killed in a horrific crash as she drove with three of her young children.

"I've had the liberty to look inside the Suburban and the intrusion on the vehicle is pretty deep so definitely there was blunt force trauma," says Det. Gilberto Borruel with the LA County Sheriff's Department.

McDonald, 43, was driving that Suburban, officials say.

She was with three of her young children -- two girls and a boy -- ranging in age from 5 to 12.

Authorities said around 12:45 p.m. Saturday, while driving on 40th Street West, McDonald collided with a man in his  late 30s driving a white pickup who was trying to make the left from Avenue L.

Deputies said the three children were flown to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. All are expected to survive.

Meanwhile, both drivers were taken to Antelope Valley Hospital. McDonald was declared dead at that facility.

"Speed does not appear to be a factor, however alcohol does appear to be a primary collision factor in this investigation right now," said Borruel.

He says he questioned the driver of the white pickup in the hospital.

"He did tell me that he consumed alcohol prior to driving his vehicle," the detective says.

As for McDonald, she was considered a pillar of the Lancaster community as well as being an architectural and design commissioner.

Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said in a statement,  "Shannon was a great community member who cared deeply about the success of our city. She continually engaged positively in our progress and success. She will be missed. We ask everyone to pray for her family in this time of need."

The driver of the white pickup remains behind bars. Detectives say he is facing felony drunk driving charges causing injury or death.

According to the city of Lancaster's website, McDonald has four daughters, a son and two grandchildren.

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