The Los Angeles Police Department arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of murder after a vehicle crashed into a Van Nuys building Sunday night, killing one person and injuring several others.
The crash occurred about 8 p.m. during a pop-up Halloween event at 7557 Woodley Ave.
The LAPD alleged that Luis Carrillo-Castaneda of Los Angeles was driving an SUV at high speeds along Saticoy Street, lost control and crashed into the building.
A female Woodland Hills resident was pronounced dead at the scene and has not been identified by authorities as of Monday evening.
Several other people were evaluated for minor to moderate injuries, police said.
Veronica Ascencio, co-owner of JV Espresso Bar, a vendor at the Halloween event, was cleaning up her space and preparing to leave the building with her husband and five children when the SUV slammed into the building.
“We didn’t even see anything. We just heard a loud noise and everyone yelling,” she said Monday. “There was dust everywhere.”
Ascencio and her eldest daughter found two of her children before seeing a woman with glass through her neck lying on the floor, she said.
At that point, she began looking for her two other children, both of whom were found safe.
At the time of the crash, Ascencio said, there were about 60 people left in the building, most of whom were food or beverage vendors cleaning up after the 3-to-8 p.m. event. .
Carolina Castillo, who lives nearby, had considered attending Sunday’s pop-up but did not.
“It’s scary. What if I had gone right at that time,” she said.
Before the crash, Castillo heard a screech and helicopters overhead.
She stepped outside her home to find the crash scene, prompting her to check a security camera she had installed outside.
The camera caught the SUV, followed by a helicopter, speeding past her home.
“I’ve never seen a car pass by that fast on the camera,” she said.
The incident remains under investigation by the LAPD.