Mother killed, 3 injured after car plows into apartment in South L.A.

A mother was killed with her 4-year-old daughter by her side after a vehicle slammed into a South L.A. apartment early Wednesday morning, said officials.

The victim was identified by family members as 45-years-old Nicole Marks, a mother of four. She died upon impact.

Her children range in age from 23 to 4-years-old. All children were inside the apartment at the time of the crash.

Family members arrived at the apartment building visibly distraught after hearing of their loss. They believe Marks held her daughter in order to shield her from the crash. It is a move that likely saved her daughter's life, the family said.

The family of five united in order to celebrate an annual tradition of celebrating a family birthday on July 4.

Firefighters arrived at the apartment building just after 5:00 a.m. in the 8700 block of Main Street near the intersection of West Manchester Avenue.

Witnesses heard screaming at the time of the crash. Neighbors rushed in attempt to free the unconscious 59-year-old female driver and male passenger from the burning car. However, the two were extricated by firefighters.

The mother and her 4-year-old daughter were sleeping inside the apartment when a white sedan plowed through their apartment and into the bedroom. Her daughter and the two occupants of the vehicle were taken to a local hospital. The child was listed in stable condition. The conditions of the two others were not immediately known, but are expected to survive.

The extent and cost of damage to the apartment building are unknown.

Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.