CHATSWORTH (CBSLA.com) — Two men were killed and at least one other was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle early Thursday morning.
Police believe two cars were street racing when the driver of a Mustang lost control and ran into a group of bystanders on the sidewalk around 2:15 a.m. at Plummer Street and Canoga Avenue, officials said.READ MORE: Lakers Legend Magic Johnson On Unvaccinated Players: ‘I Would Never Do That To My Teammates’
The force of the impact threw two men into a nearby parking lot. One was killed immediately and the other died at a hospital.
A third man suffered serious injuries but was expected to survive.
Both drivers fled the scene. The incident was being investigated as a hit-and-run.
Authorities said the Mustang was illegally modified and that the car was involved in a planned, illegal street race.
“We are in the process right now of locating that driver to find out how this tragic incident exactly occurred,” Det. Bill Bustos said.
Michael Groomsmen said he witnessed street racing in the area hours before the crash occurred. Groomsmen said the isolated stretch of road has become a popular racing spot, and he has seen at least two races a week in the past eight months.
“While to many of you this is an entertainment, glamorous activity, I think it’s important for the public to know this is illegal, dangerous and as we’ve seen this morning, a deadly activity that is criminal in nature and a criminal investigation is underway,” LAPD Capt. John McMahon said.READ MORE: Two Dead Following Fire In Canoga Park
KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar spoke to residents who said street racing has been a problem in the area for some time.
“It’s like a drug problem, it’s an addiction,” said one man who didn’t want to be identified.
He said the problem was particularly bad on Commerce Street, a popular location for the racers.
“By the end of the street,” the man said, “they’re hitting anywhere from 80 to 110 miles an hour.”
One of the deceased has been identified as 26-year-old Eric Siguenza.
At a news conference Thursday, officials identified the Mustang driver as 21-year-old Henry Michael Gevorgyan. He is being sought for questioning, authorities said.
Investigators told KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez they believed upwards of 60 people were watching the race. Many of them stayed to render aid to the three victims but many others also fled the scene.MORE NEWS: Ojai Unified School District Buildings, Preschool Vandalized With Anti-Mask Graffiti
Det. Bustos believes there were dozens of bystanders watching this morning’s incident and urged anyone who has cell phone video to call (818) 644-8000.