Elda Mayo, Downey 24-Year-Old, and Two Relatives Killed When SUV Bursts Into Flames After Crystal Cathedral Service
The young woman who died after service at the Crystal Cathedral last night in a fiery crash on the 5 North, along with two older female relatives, has been identified by the coroner as 24-year-old Downey resident Elda Mayo. The other two fatalities were reportedly Angela Prado, 49, and Sara Flores, 40. [Photos of the crash scene at OC Weekly.]
Mayo lists herself on Facebook as a graduate of John Glenn High School in Norwalk. She says the Bible is one of her favorite books.
According to City News Service, the 41-year-old woman who crashed the SUV, and another 16-year-old passenger, survived the other three women in the Buena Park crash...
... and are currently hospitalized at UCI Medical Center.
CHP officers tell City News that around 10:15 p.m. last night, as the driver of the packed Ford Excursion was attempting to exit the 5 freeway at the Beach Boulevard off-ramp, she lost control -- rolling the SUV across a meridian and another ramp.
View Larger Map
When the vehicle landed in an empty lot alongside the freeway, all four passengers were thrown out its windows. (We have not been able to confirm whether they were wearing seatbelts.)
With the driver still stuck in her seat, CHP officers say the SUV then burst into flames. But fortunately, a bystander made the courageous move to rescue the 41-year-old from the burning vehicle.
According to City News:
The CHP is investigating whether speed and the sharp turn angle of the offramp played a role in the crash. No other vehicles were involved and alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
The Crystal Cathedral, currently bankrupt and up for sale, is located in Garden Grove -- about eight miles south of the accident site -- and holds a nightly service at 6:30 p.m. [Update: Cathedral spokesman John Charles tells City News that "the ministry has been holding spiritual revival meetings this week." He says Mayo and her relatives were members of the church's "Hispanic ministry." A prayer service was held this morning for the victims, and another is tentatively slated for 6:30 p.m.]
Did you know any of the victims, or happen to witness last night's horrendous accident? Let us know.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.