5 killed, 9 injured in fiery crash as car runs light, slams into Los Angeles traffic
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WINDSOR HILLS, Calif. (KABC) — Five people were killed and nine 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 at all before slamming into multiple vehicles. Flames immediately break out as the mangled vehicles are still skidding 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.
Officials say a pregnant woman, an infant and two other adults were killed in the crash and subsequent fire.
Witnesses describe 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.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if the driver of the Mercedes was among the dead. If not, the CHP said multiple criminal charges would likely be presented to the district attorney.
The incident happened in Windsor Hills, 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.