INGLEWOOD — The Inglewood Unified School District is mourning the death of an elementary school principal who was killed Nov. 23 in a automobile crash in Manhattan Beach.
In a letter to district parents, Erika Torres, the administrator in charge of the district, said that Christian Mendoza, the newly appointed principal of Bennett-Kew P-8 Leadership Academy, was killed in the crash along with two others.
Torres described Mendoza as a “beloved member of our IUSD community.”
He began his teaching career in the 1990s at Inglewood’s Highland Elementary School. He then spent nine years with the Lennox Unified School District, before being appointed principal this year at Bennett-Kew.
Mendoza is survived by his wife Leticia, daughter Alexis, and son Issac.
The Mendoza family has surpassed its fundraising goal of $20,000 and continue to accept donations through their GoFundMe page which can be found at GoFundMe.com/f/tribute-to-christian-mendoza.
The crash was reported at 9:46 p.m. at Sepulveda Boulevard and Marine Avenue, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department. While exact circumstances of the crash remain under investigation, police believe speed was a factor in the accident.
Also killed were Katie-Jay Scott-Stauring and Gabriel Stauring, both leaders of a Redondo Beach-based humanitarian action group that aids, supports and extends hope to those affected by mass atrocities.
Scott-Stauring was returning from a three-week mission at a refugee camp in Greece.
The car accident that took her and her husband’s life occurred on their drive home from the airport. Their 9-year-old daughter survived the deadly collision.
Two other adults were taken to a hospital in serious condition and a juvenile was taken in critical condition. One vehicle crashed into a nearby building, and Sepulveda Boulevard was littered with debris from the collision.
City News Service contributed to this article.
2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.