Witnesses who saw a malfunctioning car kill a 7-year-old girl in a “freak accident” said the child didn’t stand a chance against the out-of-control vehicle. Beverly White reports from Inglewood for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2013.
A 7-year-old girl was killed Sunday night during a "car-hopping competition" at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, about 14 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, police said.
"The operator lost control of the vehicle, striking a 7-year-old female, resulting in her death," said Officer Diance Liberti, with the Whittier Police Department.
Several car club members gathered in the 10200 block of Freeman Avenue for an event that included "car-hopping" in which so-called low-rider cars show off their custom hydraulics systems that make the vehicles jump up and down.
Those suspension systems are installed at KoolAid Hydraulics or CBM Hydros, where the event was held. No one from the business would comment Monday.
A driver there lost control of their vehicle and struck the girl, according to Whittier police. Initially, a witness told NBC4 a car bumped a shelf at the warehouse and knocked a pallet onto the girl.
The young victim -- described by police as a spectator -- was pronounced dead at the scene.
Outside on Sunday night, bystanders were wracked with emotion at their loss.
A family friend identified the girl as Mia Chapman, and released photos of the little girl, pictured below.
Dozens of supporters lined an Inglewood street Monday evening asking drivers and passersby for donations for the victim's family.
"We're here to help him, the family, the mother -- you know, whatever the low riders can do for him, we're here. We're family, that's what it is. Low-riding is family," the owner of Low Life Hydraulics in Inglewood said.
Whittier police did not confirm whether the vehicle involved was part of the car show -- an event featuring cars with customized hydraulic suspensions -- or another spectator's.
Authorities said there have been no arrests, describing the death as a "tragic accident."
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