WESTMINSTER — A Westminster woman died and two children were severely injured Monday when a van driver, apparently distracted by the disabled man he was transporting, ran a red light and crashed into their vehicle, police said.
The accident occurred at 10:15 a.m. as Tran Tran, 49, was driving south on Bushard Street. A van going east on McFadden Avenue ran a red light, police said, and crashed into the right front of Tran's car, fatally injuring 32-year-old Truc Tieu and injuring a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.
"The car was totaled," Westminster Police Lt. Mike Chliskey said.
The driver of the van, Richard Hernandez, 25, of Irvine, had apparently been distracted by an outburst from his 43-year-old passenger, who is mentally disabled, police said.
"The passenger, at the time, was in a wheelchair, and it seemed as though he was trying to get out of his seat," Chliskey said.
Authorities said the passenger had apparently been hitting Hernandez just before the collision.
Tieu suffered internal injuries and died at 11:42 a.m. at UCI Medical Center in Orange. The 2-year-old suffered severe head injuries, and the 6-year-old suffered a broken jaw. Both were taken to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, officials said.
The accident aggravated previous internal injuries suffered by Hernandez, who was listed in stable condition at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.
Tran and the disabled man were treated for minor injuries.
No one was cited, and police are investigating the accident, Chliskey said.