Update: The dead driver has been identified as 55-year-old L.A. resident Elba Escobar. More at the bottom.
Originally posted March 20 at 6:10 p.m.
A horrific crash between a food truck and a Mercedes in the Pico-Union area of central Los Angeles has left one dead and two seriously injured, says Sergeant Larry Delgado, watch commander for the LAPD's Central Traffic Division.
“Food and debris were scattered everywhere,” says Delgado.
Investigators are still trying to determine which driver was at fault. But here's what they do know:
The catering truck wasn't parked — it was heading east down Washington Boulevard. And the Mercedes was perpendicular to the truck, going southbound on Union.
After they collided at the intersection of the two streets, the food truck hit a stoplight pole and a fence before overturning and ejecting its driver. The Mercedes plowed into a retail business nearby.
According to Delgado, there was “substantial damage” to both vehicles. He says the food-truck driver has been declared dead, and that one passenger from the food truck is “seriously injured” in the hospital, along with the driver of the Mercedes.
The watch commander isn't sure of the exact food truck involved in the crash. “It was just your standard lunch-type catering truck,” he says.
KFI News is at the scene, where the truck has apparently been righted:
More details to come as they're available.
Update: LAPD officials tell City News Service that the food-truck driver who died in the crash was 55-year-old Elba Escobar, a Los Angeles resident. She was reportedly killed when “the catering truck she was driving collided with a car and overturned, trapping her.”
A web page has been set up “in loving memory” of “Elba Elizabeth Escobar.” It reads:
Elba Escobar passed away tragically and unexpectedly on March 20, 2012. She leaves behind a loving family: a devoted husband, two sons, and a daughter. In support of the Escobar family, we have started this website to raise funds to help them during this difficult time. Every little bit helps as do you thoughts and prayers.
There's a place to donate money to Escobar's surviving family, or send a message to her daughter, Nancy Escobar.
According to City News, investigators have determined that it was Escobar in the food truck who hit the Mercedes-Benz as it turned left onto Union. They are looking into a possible red-light violation.
More on the non-fatal victims of the crash:
A 38-year-old Los Angeles woman who was a passenger in the 1984 GMC catering truck was taken to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries and a 61- year-old Los Angeles man who was driving the 1991 Mercedes-Benz that was struck by the food truck was hospitalized with a non-life threatening head injury, police said.