Fiery crash in Southern California: 5 dead, including baby


LOS ANGELES — A speeding car ran a red light and collided with cars at a busy intersection on Thursday in a fiery crash that killed five people, including a baby, just outside Los Angeles, authorities said.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., a Mercedes-Benz sedan caused a crash involving as many as six cars at a gas station in the unincorporated Windsor Hills, about 10 miles southwest of downtown LA, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The coroner’s office identified one of the victims as Asherey Ryan, a 23-year-old woman from Los Angeles. Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were killed, but their names were not made public on Friday. One of the victims was pregnant.

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Several people were thrown from the cars and two vehicles caught fire. Television reports showed the blackened and mangled cars, as well as a children’s car seat among the rubble that covered the street.

Video showed the Mercedes hurtling through an intersection and hitting at least two cars which exploded in flames and sped onto a sidewalk and hit the sign on the corner of the gas station. A fiery streak led to one car. A vehicle was torn in two.

The car was traveling at least 80 km/h as it raced through the busy intersection, CHP agent Franco Pepi said.

The CHP initially said three adults, including one who was pregnant, and a baby were killed. However, another body was later found in one of the burned cars, Pepi said at an evening press conference.

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Pepi said eight people were taken to hospital, including the 40-year-old woman driving the Mercedes. She had serious injuries.

The other victims had minor injuries, including a 33-year-old woman and six children, ages 13 months to 15 years old, Pepi said.

Veronica Esquival told KTLA-TV she covered her head for protection as the debris flew away.

“All of a sudden, a baby literally flew from the center of the intersection to the center of the gas station and landed on the ground right in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took the baby out of my hands. … Someone tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone.”

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Debra Jackson, told KCBS-TV that she was about to get out of her car to accelerate when she heard a large explosion.

“The flames just went over everyone,” Jackson said. “The flames went all over my car and they told me to jump out of my car … because I was trying to get out of my car, to go to the gas station. And I jumped out of my car and just left my car there .”



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