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Mother, child killed in 6-car Pasadena crash [UPDATED]


Updated at 8:20 p.m.:The Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the mother as Robin Shaw, of Altadena, and her daughter as Victoria Shaw, 9.

Updated at 3:45 p.m.: Orange Grove Boulevard was reopened by 2:30 p.m.

Rescuers were offered a critical stress debriefing after the accident.

“A lot of our firefighters do have children about the same age,” said Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Fire Department. “It does have an effect.”


Original post:

A mother and daughter on their way to school were killed in a six-car pile-up in Pasadena today, fire officials said.

Seven people were injured in the crash, including two who were also the children of the killed woman.  The woman was driving east along Orange Grove Boulevard when the accident happened shortly before 8 a.m., said Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Fire Department. The road is busy during the morning commute.

According to witnesses, the woman’s Toyota Sequoia SUV started swerving in and out of lanes, causing a “chain reaction crash,” Derderian said. The reason for her erratic driving was not immediately clear, Derderian said.

The woman’s Sequoia stopped at the Martelo Avenue intersection. Another vehicle ended up on the front lawn of a residence. The woman, who was in her 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, Derderian said.

Heavy machinery was needed to extract her children from the badly mangled vehicle.  One daughter, about 10, was found dead, she said. A 5-year-old girl was transported in critical condition to a nearby hospital, along with a 16-month-old boy, whose condition was listed as serious.

A man and a woman in their 30s, who had been in separate vehicles, were also taken to a hospital, Derderian said. Three other patients were treated at the scene. Orange Grove Boulevard will remain closed for several more hours between Altadena Drive and Allen Avenue, she said.

—Alexandra Zavis

Photo: The crash scene on Orange Grove Boulevard.

Credit: Jamie Nicholson / Pasadena Fire Department 

Comments () | Archives (28)

This is horrible. My aunt died ten years ago as well driving her daughter to school in Costa Mesa. Too many people nowadays think it is their right to drive erratically to get from one point to another. People seem to forget that driving is a privilege, not a right. My heart goes out to all families affected by this accident as I know from experience that it takes a long time for a family to overcome such a tragedy.

Why people have to be such a hurry all the time? I'll bet the mother was in a hurry, now she is dead. Some people are in a hurry to die.

i've complained about cars and motorcycles speeding on Orange Grove for years. When will city officials do something about this?

This was my aunt and her children in the car. I don't think that it is right to assume that she was driving erratically. And I know for a fact that she was not IN A HURRY to die. She was a beautiful person with a beautiful family.

I'm sure this lady was not driving crazily since she comes from a respectable family and had her 3 children in the car

Some Toyota Sequoia's were recalled due to a defect in the steering that may cause the vehicle to veer-you might want to check this. Condolences and prayers to the family.

I drive surface streets through the same general area in my daily
commute. On two occasions I tried Orange Grove, I was actually
scared. The prevailing speed is unsafe without a physical barrier
between the two sides of the road. It is an accident waiting to

Check the front ball joints/front axl. I have a Toyota Sequoia and it failed on me while on the freeway. Luckily traffic had slowed and my front tired/axl collapsed. My issurance company investigators/experts called it a mechanical failure. There have been other incidents, but Toyota is failing to acknowledge the probem.

This tragedy is horrible. Robin was the sweetest most wonderful mother and wife. We will all miss her enormously. We love you Shaws!

Residents should leave the engineering up to the Engineers. This accident is precisely that, an accident. Overeacting and asking for "lower speeds" that effect everyone and "concrete barriers" to prevent these type of accidents is ludicrous. Whether it was a mechanical failure of the car or erratic driving of the driver, it's still an accident. Hopefully her and her children had salvation.

I knew Robin and her children were her life! Her family was everything to her. God bless her family she and her daughter will be missed!


Don't assume the worst from this accident. Witnesses say Mrs. Shaw was swerving in & out of lanes prior to the accident. Maybe she was having a seizure or unknown medical condition. People just don't know what happened, because they weren't in the car with this family. Just be respectful, and do not judge her. My prayers to the Shaw family.

Robyn and all her family are a well respected family with strong values. Robyn and her family have been patients in our office for approx. 10 yrs. and her and I were pregnant at the same time with our youngest boys. It breaks my heart that she is no longer here and Victoria. People cannot judge and jump to conclusions. Let the officials handle the investigation. I also drive a Sequoia and also have 4 children as she did. I put myself in this families place and can't help to think that could have been me or anyone of use. I am now concerned that there is something wrong with these SUV's and I should get it checked. My heart and prayers go out to David and his family in this difficult time. We love you all and are in our hearts. It is patients like this dear family that we consider family in our practice. Our doctor cried his eyes out all day yesterday and could not even function since he had just given Robyn what she called "her hollywood smile"

I lost a best friend that day. I know for sure that Robyn would do anything to protect her kids and family. Robyn and Tori were the most kind hearted people with great big smiles and it is the biggest tragedy to loss 2 greast people. Robyn always drove careful, something went wrong and I know she tried to do her best to control the situation and try to save her children. I love them both soo much and will miss them greatly. Stop trying to use this horrible accident as a example for speed.

I knew Robin and her family. She was my Aunt Raquel’s best friend and a close friend of my family. Robin was a GREAT Friend, Daughter, Mother and Wife. She loved her family more than anything. Please don’t rush to judge her when you know nothing about her. My deepest sympathy goes out to David, Vincent, Lia and Brian. May God be with them.

Robin and Tori will be missed Greatly!

I see this often, women (usually mid 30's)) with small children in their cars, usually a big suv (thinking these cars will save them from anything) yaking on their cell phone, being distracted by something happening in the car. Having no regard for other drivers. Then you wonder why these tragedies occur? Not that I'm saying that this is what happened. A huge tragedy, YES!

I didn't know anyone in the accident, but people please don't judge because you don't know what Mrs. Shaw was like or what was going on in the car. The Shaws are going through a really hard time right now and they don't need people who don't even know them judging Mrs. Shaw. Think about how Mrs. Shaw's husband and parents feel right now and how her kids will feel now that her and her daughter are dead. Sympathy and condolences for all the families affected by this accident, I know what it is like to lose a someone you love.

Let us just pray that Leah and Bryan get well and go home to their Daddy and brother Vincent, and their injuries won't have any complications. And also pray for Robyn and Tori's family and friends, that they would be able to stay strong to accept this tragedy, which I, together with my family, are trying at the hardest right now. You will be deeply missed Robyn, and Tori too, who I have not seen or talked to for long time, but whom Robyn never failed to talk about and find comparisons between her and my daughter.

There will be a candelight vigil for Robin and Tori Shaw on Tuesday 4-28-09 at 6 30 pm on the corner of orange grove and martelo...

my heart goes out to all involved in this, especially the surviving children and husband.

This situation as well as having a 9 month old child of my own brings up the question of how safe is it for a single adult to drive with multiple children? i know there is no wasy way around having to do this, my wife and i try to avoid it as much as possible but its tough, and we don't always have the luxory of being able to both be in the car with the baby. Anyways its jsu ta thought and i'm not saying it was the issue here just bringingup the ?

My family have known Robyn since she was in grade school and was classmates with my brother Ray and cousin Rose Ann. Rose Ann, Racquel and Robyn were the Three R's, good friends even now. Robyn and Tori, we will miss you! A great mother, daughter, friend.

It is extremely badtaste to make comments of judgement during this extrememly difficult time for the Shaw family. My heart goes out to Mr. David Shaw and the remainder of his surviving family. Although we know it happens, no one should be taken from this world before their time. May the Lord stay with the Shaw family during this time of tragedy.

I don't understand why people use other's tragedies to bash people. Does that change that a mother, wife, sister, friend and a sweet, young girl who had her whole life ahead her is gone? My heart breaks for this family and everyone Robyn and Tori touched. They will need everyone's support, not judgement, as this shattered family tries to go on with their lives. Pray for them all and look to yourselves for compassion.

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