LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man’s body was discovered inside a burning car in Westchester Friday morning.

According to Los Angeles police, firefighters responded to the 5400 block of 99th Street around 4:30 a.m. on a call of a burning car.

They later found the unidentified man’s body in the passengers’s seat of his 1992 white Cadillac.

Investigators are trying to determine how he died and how the fire started. A preliminary investigation suggests the car ignited on its own, after some type of mechanical failure caused by a collision. Detectives found no signs of arson.

The man has been identified by family as 46-year-old Brian Kelsey.

CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Kristine Lazar spoke to Kelsey’s son, Marcus Mergerson. “I feel like this is a dream. And I’m going to wake up from this nightmare,” he said.

Mergerson said his father went out with friends last night after he got off work from his job at LAX.

The driver of the car is believed to have hit at least two parked cars.

“One of the cops told my brother it looked like [my father] was trying to crawl out,” said Mergerson.

A witness told police they saw someone — a white or Latino male — leaving the area immediately after the crash.

Kelsey lived virtual feet from the scene of the crash and fire.

Lt. John Radtke said criminal charges are possible. “It’s hit-and-run and maybe manslaughter.”

Kelsey’s family wants to know how anyone could abandon their loved one and leave him to die a horrible death.

“Whoever was driving knew he lived around here. Why would they do that? What is going through their mind?,” Mergerson said. “Let God have mercy on their soul.”


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