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Driver killed in crash with firetruck in West Compton is ID’d

Authorities on Thursday identified the man who was killed when the car he was driving slammed into a firetruck in West Compton this week.

About 12:31 a.m. Tuesday, a Los Angeles County Fire Department truck on Avalon Boulevard was hit by a Chrysler PT Cruiser going through the intersection “at a high rate of speed” on Compton Boulevard, according to California Highway Patrol spokesperson Angelia Gonzales. Three other cars were involved in the crash.

The people inside the Chrysler — a man and woman — were pronounced dead at the scene. Four firefighters inside the firetruck were hospitalized with minor injuries. No one else was injured.

The man was identified Thursday as Montae Cook, 27, by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, which listed his cause of death as “blunt force injuries.”

The woman was identified as 25-year-old Los Angeles resident Asia Allen-Bookman, according to her sister Tiffany Acker. The coroner’s office hasn’t officially released Allen-Bookman’s identity, citing pending family notification.

Acker said that although some media outlets cited a witness and the CHP as saying the car her sister was in was involved in a street race, Cook was actually being chased by an ex-girlfriend shortly before the crash.

Allen-Bookman, according to Acker, met Cook about two to three weeks ago, and they were likely driving back from a video shoot and dropping her off at work. Allen-Bookman called a friend in a panic during the drive and told her they were being chased by Cook’s ex-girlfriend and needed help, Acker said.

“She was hysterically crying,” Acker said about her sister. “I’m assuming that my sister was seeing her life flash before her eyes. She knew there was no way out.”

The car chasing them was a white or silver car of unknown make and model, according to Acker.

Cook’s foster parent, Marie Pilloud of Nebraska, said Cook lived with her until he was 20 or so. He grew up in Pilloud’s home with three foster siblings and attended Iowa Western Community College for two years before moving to Las Vegas to pursue a career in music. He then moved to Los Angeles to further his career as a rapper and was getting traction on TikTok with his music, she said.

“He could be a difficult kid here and there, but there was always something so special about him,” said Pilloud, 68. “He had a great heart and he loved music.”

Pilloud last spoke with Cook last week, when he contacted her asking about his birth certificate. They spoke for a while until Pilloud said she couldn’t talk anymore and that she would call him back in a few days.

“He had a tough childhood,” she said. “He always told me he was going to make it big, buy me a house and take care of me. We had a great relationship. He was always in my life and I was always in his.”

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