A horrific car crash in Los Angeles, California, left six people dead and sent eight people, including the driver, to the hospital.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, a black Mercedes-Benz speeding down South La Brea Avenue, going at least 50 mph, ran a red light at Slauson Avenue and crashed into several cars. Some of the cars burst into flames and slammed into a gas station sign on the corner.
The crash was caught on a CCTV camera. WARNING: The video is graphic.
Witnesses at the gas station reported a terrifying scene of fire and debris. Even some of the victims of the crash were ejected from their vehicle. Veronica Esquivel was trying to pump gas when the crash occurred.
“I was about to pump gas and all of a sudden, I hear all of the noises from all of the collisions, and then the fire explosion, and I saw things, metal and things flying in the air. So, I just covered myself behind the pump,” Esquivel told reporters.
What Esquivel described next is heartbreaking.
“All of the sudden, a baby literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station and landed right on the floor 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. … Somebody tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone.”
Another witness, Alphonso Word, said, “I think the devastating part was you heard the scream. I don’t know if it was one of the victims that was in the car burning, or what.”
Police initially reported that five had died in the crash, but during their investigations later that evening, they discovered yet another body in one of the charred vehicles.
Eight other people were taken to the hospital, most with minor injuries. Two of them are adults, and six are children, ranging in age from 13 months to 15 years old. Their names and their conditions remain unknown.
One woman who was taken to the hospital with serious injuries is the driver of the Mercedes-Benz. Police have spoken with her to try to understand what happened. The driver has not been named, but reports say that she is in her 40s. She has been charged with vehicular homicide and gross negligence.
“Just unknown reasons for the high speed at this time,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Franco Pepi said.
“Everyone needs to drive with more due regard because a lot of collisions happen, and this just happens to be at the top of the list of how bad they can get.”
The intersection of La Brea and Slauson is located in Windsor Hills, approximately ten miles from downtown Los Angeles.