A Mercedes-Benz that ran a red light in Los Angeles, California on Thursday reportedly caused a multi-vehicle collision that left at least five dead and eight injured, according to The Los Angeles Times. The crash and ensuing fire killed a baby, a pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Surveillance footage shows the Mercedes driving past a red light on La Brea and Slauson avenues at 1:40 p.m. and colliding with a light pole. CHP) told TNZT LA.
“It looked like the whole intersection was on fire from corner to corner. Lots of sparks and electricity. I had the impression that at first I thought they had dropped a bomb on us,” witness Harper Washington told KABC-TV.
“Once the fire went out and the thump was gone, I realized it was two cars there,” Washington added. “You saw the people on fire and that’s just sad. I really pray for the people and the community.”
Although the female driver of the Mercedes vehicle has yet to be identified, CHP officer Franco Pepi told The Los Angeles Times that she had been hospitalized and was conscious. He added that the CHP counted the unborn child of the pregnant woman who died in the crash, who has been identified as 23-year-old Asherey Ryan, as an additional fatality, “due to rare circumstances”.
Five people, except for the woman’s unborn child, were pronounced dead at the scene. Their ages, as well as the sex of everyone except the pregnant woman, have yet to be determined. The entire intersection was littered with rubble, among which witness Veronica Esquival claimed to have seen a baby.
Esquival told KTLA she rushed to the crime scene to help the baby before a first responder “took the baby off my hands” and tried to resuscitate another person, “but the baby was gone.”
Another person, whose age and gender have yet to be determined, was later found in the casing of their car. At least six of the injured were teenagers, one of whom was seriously injured. One of the injured refused help, while the others required emergency treatment at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
The youngest injured victim was 13 months old, the CHP and the Los Angeles County Fire Department told NBC Los Angeles. The others were 8, 11, 13, 14 and 15 years old. All were released in good condition on Thursday evening.