WINDSOR HILLS, Calif. (KABC) — Six people were killed and seven others were injured in a violent, fiery crash involving multiple vehicles Thursday in Windsor Hills, officials say.
The crash was caused by a Mercedes coupe that was speeding south on La Brea Avenue and ran a red light, slamming into several cars at Slauson Avenue around 1:30 p.m., according to the CHP.
Surveillance video from a nearby business shows cross traffic on Slauson moving west through the intersection as the Mercedes speeds into the frame at full velocity, with no indication it slowed down before slamming into multiple vehicles. Flames immediately break out as the mangled vehicles skid through the intersection, coming to a halt in front of a gas station.
At least six vehicles were involved in the crash and three of them burst into flames after the impact.
Amid the chaotic nature of the incident, the tally on casualties and injuries changed several times throughout the day. At a press conference later Thursday evening, officials said they found an additional body in the wreckage, bringing the death count to six.
They said seven people were transported to local hospitals with injuries, including several children ranging in age from 13 months to 15 years.
Officials say a pregnant woman, an infant and three other adults were killed in the crash and subsequent fire.
Investigators also said the driver of the Mercedes, described as a woman around 40 years old, survived the crash and was hospitalized. Officers were interviewing her.
A CHP spokesman said the agency expects to present multiple criminal charges for the crash to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Witnesses described hearing an incredibly loud noise, followed by fire and sparking electricity. Thick plumes of smoke drifted into the sky for several minutes before firefighters arrived.
“It looked like the whole intersection from corner to corner was on fire,” said witness Harper Washington. “A lot of sparks and electricity. I was under the impression that, really at first I thought they dropped a bomb on us. I thought another world war had started. Then I realized it was a car into the sign.”
“Once the fire went away and the booming left, I realized it was two cars there. You could see the people on fire and that’s just sad. I really pray for the people and the community.”
Bystanders tried to help but had trouble dealing with the flames.
Witness Alfonso Word choked up as he described seeing the pregnant woman and a child after the crash.
“It hurts. It does,” Word said. “Because I have a grandson. I know people that have kids. For a mother to be pregnant … that child never had a chance.”
Windsor Hills is an unincorporated community just south of LA’s Crenshaw district. CHP is handling the investigation with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The ages and names of the victims were not immediately available.
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