Crime & Justice

Alleged DUI driver slams into churchgoers in Redondo Beach, killing 3

A suspected drunk driver slammed into a group of more than a dozen people leaving a Christmas pageant in Redondo Beach on Wednesday.
A suspected drunk driver slammed into a group of more than a dozen people leaving a Christmas pageant in Redondo Beach on Wednesday.
NBC4
A suspected drunk driver slammed into a group of more than a dozen people leaving a Christmas pageant in Redondo Beach on Wednesday.
A booking photo provided by the Redondo Beach Police Department shows Margo Bronstein, who was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
Redondo Beach Police Department


Three people were killed and several injured in Redondo Beach Wednesday night when a suspected drunk driver slammed into more than a dozen people leaving a church.

In a statement, Redondo police identified those killed as Torrance residents Mary Anne Wilson, 81, Saeko Matsumura, 87, and Martha Gaza, 36.

The victims had left an event at St. James Catholic Church and were all pedestrians using the crosswalk on Pacific Coast Highway at Vincent Street at about 8 p.m. when a vehicle plowed into the group. The driver, heading north, then veered into the southbound lanes and collided head-on with another vehicle, police said.

The driver, who has been identified as Margo Bronstein, 56, of Redondo Beach, was treated at a local hospital and then booked for felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She is being held on $300,000 bail.

Police said two of the victims were in critical condition. One was an adult who sustained a head injury and a leg fracture. The other was a child with head trauma and a bruised leg.

Another adult with a leg fracture was in stable condition. A child with a broken collar bone was also in stable condition, according to police.

Six other people were injured with minor abrasions and complained of pains, police said.

According to NBC4, the churchgoers were all coming from a children's Christmas pageant when they were hit:

St. James Catholic Church remained open last night so people could say prayers for the wounded, and church leaders appealed to the whole community to pray for the dead and injured.

"The community of St. James Catholic School and Parish in Redondo Beach, and the entire Archdiocese of Los Angeles, ask everyone to join them in prayer during this time of tragedy and grief," spokeswoman Monica Valencia said.

Bronstein is scheduled to appear in court on Friday in Torrance.