Two people were killed after their speeding vehicle lost control and crashed into a light pole and a palm tree early Wednesday morning in Riverside.
According to police and witness reports, the accident took place at approximately 2:20 a.m. near the intersection of Jackson Street and Sage Avenue, where a 1997 BMW sedan was spotted driving erratically and well above the speed limit by two patrol officers.
“They were trying to catch up to the vehicle,” said Officer Skip Showalter of the Riverside Police Department, “and ultimately, not far from this intersection here, they observed the vehicle going probably close to 100 miles per hour, plus turn their lights off, and continue to try and evade the officers.”
As the patrol officers started to give chase, the vehicle lost control and crashed violently. “All the officers saw from the distance they were, was what appeared to be like an explosion, and what that was, was the car crashing into the palm tree, which set it on fire,” said Lieutenant Larry Gonzalez.
Two occupants inside the vehicle were ejected in the crash and pronounced dead at the scene. “There was no doubt it was a fatal accident when they got to the scene. [I] don’t need to describe all the injuries in detail, but it was graphic,” Gonzalez added. Their identities have not yet been released.
The accident and subsequent fire inflicted such major damages to the vehicle that police needed to use its license plate to look up the make and model. Nearby residents also gathered around the scene after hearing what some thought was an explosion.
Following the accident, police closed down Jackson Street between Garfield Street and California Avenue to allow for extensive cleanup and to launch an investigation into the causes of the accident. At this time it is unclear why the vehicle was attempting to evade police, or if alcohol was a contributing factor.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a speeding vehicle such as this, you may have the right to legal action. With the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, compensation can be recovered from those at fault to cover the cost of your damages, including surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and more.
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