A driver was burned beyond recognition when a single vehicle crashed and burst into flames in Beverly Hills Monday morning, prompting an hourslong closure of a major thoroughfare, police said.
The vehicle crashed near South La Cienega Boulevard and Gregory Way (map) around 2:30 a.m., Beverly Hills Police Department Sgt. David Tomlin said.
The apparent Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV burst into flames during the crash and the driver didn't escape, police said.
The driver died and was the only person in the SUV at the time, Lt. Mike Foxen said.
Witnesses told police the SUV was traveling southbound when it struck a center median.
Police said that although the vehicle immediately became engulfed in flames, that was not confirmation the driver was speeding.
“It’s hard to say at this time," Foxen said. "That median there is a fairly substantial median, so it depends on what part of the vehicle struck the median.”
The driver was burned beyond recognition, but officials were able to read the SUV's license plate.
A nearly 1-mile stretch of South La Cienega Boulevard was closed in both directions from Wilshire to Beverly boulevards (map) until around 7:50 a.m. as police investigated.
KTLA's Justin Burton contributed to this report.