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Mother of 3 Critically Injured as Police Chased Driver in South LA

A mother of three remains unconscious nearly a month-and-a-half after she was critically injured as police chased a driver in South Los Angeles.

Now, her daughter is speaking out about the many other pursuits that have hurt others recently, and she hopes her own mother pulls through.

“She’s always worked, she’s always provided for all her three kids – she’s a single mom,” Julisa Mercado Reyna, the victim’s daughter, said. 

Reyna told NBC4 it is now her turn to be strong for her mother.

Yolanda Reyna, 43, remains unconscious at the hospital. Her daughter rarely leaves her side.

“My mom’s a fighter. I told her, ‘Mom, I’m not going to cry anymore because I have to be strong for you. I need you to hear my laughter. I need you to hear how good your progress is going,’” Reyna said. 

She said small improvements, like her mom slightly moving her head or hand, give her hope. She can’t imagine her mom, who was so full of energy and life, not waking up.

“My mom, she loves to go to concerts, that’s her thing. I don’t think she saw this coming. None of us saw this coming,” Reyna said. 

February 16, just before 8:00 p.m., she said her mother was on her way to a concert at the Kia Forum from her South LA home. It was near Main Street and Florence Avenue where her mother crossed paths with the driver of a stolen pickup truck who was being pursued by LAPD officers from 77th Division.

“My instinct just told me to show up at the scene. Finding everything out myself was heartbreaking because that’s my mom. That’s my best friend,” Reyna said. 

Newly released dashcam footage shows the moment the driver slammed right into Yolanda Reyna in her Scion.

Police arrested the driver, 43-year-old Dashawn Sutton, who has since been charged with multiple felony counts. Yolanda Reyna was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. She remains there a month-and-a-half later.

Her daughter said she’s well aware of the many other pursuits in and around LA that have injured or even killed other innocent drivers. She believes law enforcement’s decision to pursue or not should depend on the severity of the original crime.

“If it was a kidnapper, an armed suspect, things like that, I would understand because that’s a danger to society. But somebody stealing a car, it’s not worth it because not only her life, there’s other people around as well,” Reyna said.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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