Four people were killed when a speeding vehicle being pursued by police crashed into another car and burst into flames early Saturday morning in Compton.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the ordeal began just before 12:30 a.m. in the 100 block of East Indigo Street, where gunshots were reportedly fired from a red sedan. “When deputies arrived [at the scene], they contacted witnessed and found bullets in the street,” said sheriff’s Sergeant Peter Ramirez.
Officers were able to quickly track down and pull over the vehicle, which then sped off and ran through a red light on Wilmington Avenue, launching a short yet high speed chase that was brought to an abrupt end when the sedan crashed into another vehicle traveling westbound on Wilmington, which then slammed into a light pole and a brick wall.
Firefighters were rushed to the scene to try to rescue the driver of the vehicle by cutting through the roof, but they were ultimately unsuccessful. The driver was later identified by the LA County coroner’s office as 30 year old Stacy Garcia, a resident of Los Angeles.
The sedan being chased by police meanwhile rolled onto its roof and caught fire, trapping the driver and two other passengers inside. Firefighters again attempted to rescue the occupants and put out the flames, but the fires proved to be too severe. The bodies of all three vehicles were burned beyond recognition, said Lieutenant Kristy McCracken.
One of the victims has been identified by family members as 20 year old Shawnice Osborne. The other two have not yet been identified.
“We definitely feel devastated by this, especially being so close to Christmas,” says George Starks, Shawnice’s stepfather. “It’s definitely tragic when a parent loses a child. So at this point we’re just, right now, trying to stay focused and lift each other up and encourage each other as much as possible through this.”
Following the accident, the sheriff’s department has launched an investigation into the gunfire that started the incident. Anyone with information about the situation is being encouraged to contact the Compton Sheriff’s station as soon as possible.
If you’ve been injured in an accident such as this, you should seek help. Depending on the circumstances that led to your accident, you may have the right to compensation from those at fault.
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