A mother and son died after an alleged drunk driver struck them down while they were on their way to a nearby grocery store in the Westlake District.
Alicia Bautista and her son Elio were on their way to the grocery store late Sunday afternoon when they came to a stop and waited on the sidewalk at Burlington Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. As they stood at the corner, a 31-year-old man lost control of his Cadillac and barreled into the mother and son.
"To think that I'm going to be without her is horrifying," his sister Julie Bautista said. "He's always been with my mom. Wherever she went, he was there."
The driver Isaiah Villegas tried to run from the crash but police eventually caught him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Investigators believe he may have been under the influence and was allegedly speeding.
Bautista's father, who is also named Elio, drove by the crash that same day but did not know it was his family that died.
"I never expected it was going to be my family," said Elio. "I don't want anybody else to feel like this because it's hard."
The most recent numbers from the LAPD show that 258 people have been killed in traffic collisions on city streets in 2023 compared to 247 in the same time frame.
"We're looking like we're going to have another record year in terms of fatalities," Damien Kevitt, who works with "Streets Are For Everyone," said.
Kevitt and his organization helped push a new state law that will bring speed cameras to LA starting at the beginning of the year. He does not expect them to be installed until July 2024.
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