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Woman's Drive Into Harbor Kills Her, Child

January 23, 1991|JESSE KATZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A woman was killed and a small child fatally injured Tuesday night when the woman deliberately plunged her van into the waters of Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro, authorities said.

The van was traveling at a high rate of speed when it went into the water off Berth 68 about 7:18 p.m., Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman David Holcomb said.

The unidentified woman, described only as being in her late 20s or early 30s and possibly of Asian descent, was pronounced dead at the scene after Fire Department divers pulled her from the submerged van.

The child, believed to be no older than 3, died shortly after arrival at San Pedro Peninsula Hospital.

The woman was wearing her seat belt and the child was strapped into a child's car seat, authorities said.

"We know from witnesses that it was not an accident," said Los Angeles Police Lt. Mike Markulis . "It was a deliberate act."

Two witnesses, both of whom were sitting in cars parked in the berth area, said the woman pulled up next to them. They said the woman put the vehicle into reverse and drove back about 200 feet, then gunned the engine and sped towards the water. The van jumped the low curb, went over an eight-foot cliff of jagged rocks and plunged into the harbor and sank.

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