Highland Park -- The victim of a fatal crash earlier this week has been identified as 46-year-old Courtney Everts Mykytyn, who was struck and killed in the street outside her home by a neighbor's car in what police are calling a "tragic accident."
Mykytyn, a mother of two and and a champion of integrated schools, was chatting with a neighbor a few feet from the curb in the 400 block of Lewis Street on Monday afternoon when an elderly neighbor parking her car on the steep street lost control of the vehicle, said Calvin Dehesa, a detective with the LAPD Central Traffic Division. The vehicle sped downhill in reverse, striking Mykytyn, a tree and a raised wall before coming to rest in a driveway.
Mykytyn died at the scene of the crash.
The 73-year-old driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Dehesa said. The department is trying to determine if she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake or if there was a mechanical error with the vehicle.
"This was a tragic accident," Dehesa said in an email. "The parties (neighbors) all knew each other, and it appeared it was a very tight community."
Mykytyn was the founder and executive director of Integrated Schools, an organization focused on encouraging white and affluent families to send their children to integrated schools. In Highland Park, she spearheaded an effort to bring a dual-language program to Aldama Elementary School.
“We’re the ones who kind of made it all fail,” Mykytyn said in a 2017 Mother Jones interview. “Really fixing it has to be on us.”
In a posting on Facebook, Mykytyn's husband, Roman Mykytyn, said that his wife "cared about kids everywhere getting a fair shake and did EVERYTHING she could to make that happen. She was the best Mom my children could ask for and a wonderful wife and best friend and partner for over 24 years. Our lives will never be the same, but we will find a way to persevere, because she would have tolerated nothing less."