Two grieving families gathered Saturday to remember the victims killed in a crash that police said was caused by a driver who fled from an attempted traffic stop in a South Los Angeles neighborhood.
Family members and friends identified the victims killed in the Friday morning crash as Janisha Harris, a 35-year-old mother of two, and her 38-year-old friend Jamarea Keyes.
“A pain like this, nobody should have to feel,” Harris’ sister Malika Williams said Saturday. “We’re just asking for prayers, just strength from God. That’s all we can do this time.”
Two people died in a crash this morning. The LAPD says this all started when officers tried to make a traffic stop, but the driver sped away and crashed into the victims’ car. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2022.
Harris was a passenger in the black BMW that was struck. The two friends were heading home from work.
“He was a really joyful, joking person, and as he grew up he became the father of my niece,” said Damen Upshaw, a member of Keyes’ family. “My niece is just heartbroken over this.”
The two mourning families gathered Saturday to pray and honor Harris and Williams at a memorial at the crash site in the Florence area. Messages and candles were left at the corner.
Some wore shirts with images of the victims.
“I’m always going to look at my face and see my dad,” said Amariee Keyes, Jamarea Keyes’ daughter.
The tragic chain of events unfolded as Los Angeles police were in pursuit of a driver wanted for speeding early Friday. The driver blew through a red light and slammed into the BMW.
Three people in the speeding Cadillac were arrested.
“People drive recklessly,” said Williams. “They don’t think about others. They don’t think about the pain they’re going to cause, and the pain the family goes through. The suffering.”