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Girl, 7, killed at Santa Fe Springs car event; family speaks out

September 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 7-year-old girl was killed at a car club picnic she and her dad were attending in Santa Fe Springs.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. at a warehouse belonging to Kool Aid Hydraulics, which makes parts for low-rider cars, in the 10200 block of Freeman Avenue.

Friends say 7-year-old Mia Chapman and her father attended a Sunday picnic with their car club, Strictly Ridin', held at Kool Aid Hydraulics. Andre Pierson, with the Low Riders Association, says when the event was over, the throttle on another car got stuck as it was being moved to a trailer and hit a pallet of water containers, killing the girl.

"It was not hopping. It was not performing. In no way, shape or form was it a low-riding malfunction," said Pierson. "The car did not kill her. A pallet of water killed her."

It was earlier reported that the girl was killed when a driver lost control. A woman who attended the event spoke to Eyewitness News over the phone, saying about 200 people were at the event, including several children. The woman said while she was there, they were making sure to keep all of the children a safe distance away from the hopping cars. She took video of one of the vehicles and left the event before the girl was killed.

Mia was described as a sweet little girl. Friends say Mia loved to work on cars and was excited to go to the picnic with her dad.

"It has devastated all of us. She will be truly missed. She was a beautiful, beautiful little girl, very smart, very intelligent, so respectful," said Patricia Scott, the victim's great-aunt. "This is just truly, truly a loss."

On Monday night, friends and relatives said a prayer and lit candles not far from where the little girl was killed. In Inglewood, members of 20 car clubs gathered to collect donations on La Brea Avenue to help pay for Mia's funeral.

"This is what we do. We're family. When one hurts, we all hurt," said Rick Burell with Low Life Hydraulics.


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