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Three killed, several injured in crash outside California church

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[December 18, 2014]  (Reuters) - Three people were killed and at least nine others injured when a driver ploughed into a group of pedestrians leaving a holiday church service in a southern California city of Redondo Beach on Wednesday night, police said.

The driver ran into the crowd, who were taking the crosswalk after leaving St. James Catholic Church, before crashing head-on into another car around 8 p.m. local time, police said in a statement.

Emergency workers treated about 12 people, including at least one child, at the scene who were then transported to hospitals, police said. Some of those victims were critical.

Three of the victims, including 81-year-old Mary Anne Wilson and 87-year-old Saeko Matsumura, both of Torrance, died of their injuries, police said.

Police said they could not provide an exact tally of the injured as some may have taken themselves to hospitals for treatment.

The driver was arrested on felony charges of driving under the influence and manslaughter and is being treated for her injuries, police said.

Local media reported that the crowd had just attended a Christmas concert at the church. Footage broadcast by local news network ABC7 showed shoes and other personal items strewn across the street near the crashed sedan.

Redondo Beach is a city of some 66,750 people roughly 19 miles (30 km) southwest of Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Larry King and Angus MacSwan)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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