The fourth victim of the vehicle crash into pedestrians in Redondo Beach Wednesday night sung in the school Christmas concert the pedestrians had been attending, Church authorities said today.
Six-year-old Samuel Gaza, a kindergarten student at St. James Catholic School, was with his mother, Martha, among a large group of people in the crosswalk on the northbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway at the intersection with Vincent Street when they were struck by a vehicle driven by Margo Bronstein, 56, of Redondo Beach at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Martha Gaza was also killed in the crash. Two of the other victims, Mary Wilson, 81, and Saeko Matsumura, 87, both of Torrance, were watching their grandchildren perform in the Christmas concert, Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokeswoman Monica Valencia said.
Valencia described Samuel as “a funny, friendly little boy who liked football”.
She said Samuel had sung at the school concert at St. James Church Wednesday night.
Samuel died late Thursday night at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Valencia said.
Bronstein appeared on a gurney in a Torrance courtroom Friday and was charged with four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
She pleaded not guilty to the four felonies, along with one felony count of driving under the influence of a drug, causing injury, and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail while awaiting her next court appearance Jan. 14.
Police said a total of 11 pedestrians were struck — including the four who died — although the criminal complaint names only nine victims.
Dozens of parishioners attended a midday Mass at the church Thursday to pray for the victims.
Valencia said St. James Catholic Church had established the St. James Redondo Beach Victims Fund to help with funeral and medical costs.
Condolences can be sent to:
St. James Catholic Church,
Att. Monsignor Michael Meyers
415 Vincent St.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277.