Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Updated at 10:15 a.m., April 10, 2015

An 8-year-old boy remained on life support Friday after the vehicle in which he was a passenger plunged into the water at the Port of Los Angeles, killing his 13-year-old brother.

Two adults, the parents of the boys, were able escape the vehicle as it sank and overturned in water with an estimated depth of 30 feet near Berth 73 in San Pedro late Thursday afternoon.

The dead boy was identified Friday as Abdelkrim Elmezayen, of Los Angeles, Coroner’s Chief Craig Harvey said.

The teen died at a hospital, Harvey said.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said Friday the focus of the investigation into the incident had changed from homicide/suicide to traffic accident. LAPD South Traffic Division Sgt. O. Green said homicide detectives had handed the investigation over to the traffic division around 2 a.m.

Earlier, police had indicated they were unsure of the cause.

“We don’t know if the vehicle was driven into the water deliberately or accidentally,” Los Angeles police Capt. Brian Whitten had said.

A witness at the scene told ABC7 he heard tires screech just before the vehicle went into the water from the Ports O’Call Village parking lot.

Firefighters were called to the scene about 6:10 p.m. Thursday, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. LAFD rescue divers freed the trapped children, he said.

Ninety-six fire department firefighters rushed to the scene, along with four fireboats, Humphrey said. Divers continued to search the vehicle and surrounding water as a precaution after freeing the two children, he said.

City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who lives in San Pedro, praised LAFD firefighter Miguel Meza, who jumped into the channel after the car went into the water.

“This man is a true hero in the City of Angels and I am so proud of him,” Buscaino said on his Facebook account.

—City News Service

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