LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Street racing may be to blame for a horrific car crash that killed three men and seriously injured two others in Woodland Hills, police said Sunday.
Investigators said the victims appeared to be in their 20’s and were Kuwaiti nationals.
The collision happened Saturday night when a Ford Mustang slammed into a Mercedes exiting a Chevron gas station at Ventura Boulevard and De Soto Street, Los Angeles Police Department officer James Norton said.
The Mustang, with the three men inside, then collided with a 2015 Chevy Malibu traveling the opposite direction and a parked Honda Accord.
Police confirmed speed was likely a factor. And a police source told CBS2/KCAL9’s Erica Nochlin that the Mustang was racing.
“When it caught on fire, I was like: ‘Oh my God! This is done,” one witness said. “Scary, really really scary. It could have been us.” The witness estimated the Mustang was traveling at about 85 to 90 miles per hour.
The man said he was in his car just feet away when he saw the Mustang speeding through a red light before slamming into three other cars and bursting into flames.
Police said bystanders used fire extinguishers and buckets of water to hold back the flames until firefighters arrived.
“When a whole car explodes, you can’t do anything with a little fire extinguisher,” the witness said.
“It sounded like a bomb. There was nothing left of the Mustang, nothing left of it,” another witness recalled.
Police said they have stepped up patrols on that stretch of Ventura Bouelvard and several other areas in Woodlands Hills because street racing has been a problem recently.