WINDSOR HILLS, Calif. (KABC) — Six people were killed and seven others injured in a violent and violent multi-vehicle crash Thursday in Windsor Hills, officials said.
The accident was caused by a Mercedes coupe traveling south on La Brea Avenue and ran through a red light, hitting several cars on 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 slams into the frame at full speed, with no indication that it slowed down before hitting several vehicles. Flames erupt immediately as the mutilated vehicles drive through the intersection and stop outside a gas station.
At least six vehicles were involved in the accident and three of them caught fire after the impact.
Amid the chaotic nature of the incident, the casualty and injury count changed several times throughout the day. At a press conference on Thursday evening, officials said they found an additional body in the wreckage, bringing the death toll to six.
They said seven injured people were taken to local hospitals, including several children aged between 13 months and 15 years.
Officials say a pregnant woman, a baby and three other adults were killed in the crash and subsequent fire.
Investigators also said the driver of the Mercedes, described as a woman in her 40s, survived the crash and was taken to hospital. The agents interrogated him.
A CHP spokesperson said the agency plans to file multiple criminal charges for the crash with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Witnesses described hearing an incredibly loud noise, followed by fire and electrical sparks. Thick plumes of smoke drifted across the sky for several minutes before firefighters arrived.
“It looked like the whole intersection from corner to corner was on fire,” witness Harper Washington said. “Lots of sparks and electricity. I felt like, really at first, I thought they had dropped a bomb on us. I thought another world war had started. Then I realized it was a car in the panel.”
“Once the fire went out and the rumbling went away I realized there were two cars there. You could see people on fire and it’s just sad. I really pray for people and the community.”
Passers-by tried to help but struggled to deal with the flames.
Witness Alfonso Word choked up as he described seeing the pregnant woman and a child after the crash.
“It hurts. It’s true,” Word said. “Because I have a grandson. I know people who have children. For a mother to be pregnant…that child never had a chance.”
Windsor Hills is an unincorporated community just south of the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. 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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