Two female pedestrians who were killed when they were hit by a pickup truck on a dark Winchester roadway were identified Thursday, hours after they were struck when trying to render aid to a man who was injured in a fight at a nearby Halloween party.
The fatal collision occurred after a group of people left a house party in the 31700 block of Scott Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The victims were identified as Jammie Erwin, 34, of Menifee, and Mary Pillow, 25, of Winchester, according to the Riverside County coroner's website.
A fight occurred about 1:15 a.m. at the party, and a young man injured in the altercation ran outside and called someone in a Dodge Durango to come pick him up.
With its high beams on, the Durango stopped in the eastbound lane of Scott Road, and the man involved in the fight got into the vehicle, according to Officer Mike Lassig of CHP's Temecula Office.
Then two women in dark Halloween costumes ran out of the party to help the person who had been hurt in the fight, Lassig said.
As the women stood in the roadway near the rear of the Durango, they were struck by a 2006 Toyota Tundra heading westbound at about 40 to 45 mph, Lassig said.
"These two females were wearing dark clothing, unfortunately, dark Halloween clothing, from the Halloween party they were attending, and were standing in the roadway. And unfortunately this incident occurred," Lassig said.
Video from the scene showed the Tundra with severe damage to its hood and front end.
The Tundra's driver, a 34-year-old man from Lake Elsinore who was on his way home from work, was blinded by the stopped SUV's high beams, Lassig said. He began to slow down, and thought the Durango was waiting for him to pass so that it could turn left, according to Lassig.
As the Tundra driver passed the Durango, he felt the impact and thought he might have hit an animal, Lassig stated. The driver pulled over and saw that he had struck the two women.
Scott Road, which is in a semirural area, has a posted speed limit of 55 mph. It does not have street lights and is very dark at night, authorities said.
Road conditions were normal at the time of the collision, CHP Sgt. Daniel Temple said on scene.
A witness who lives nearby, David Owens, told KTLA that he heard a fight near his house and went outside to see a man getting kicked and punched.
He saw a group of people in the roadway, and the man who had been involved in the fight was coughing up blood as he made his way to a stopped vehicle, Owens said.
Then, two women who were part of the group were struck by a vehicle coming through, Owens said.
"I heard the distinctive impact. That's when I grabbed the phone, called 911," Owens said.
The victims were lying in the street, and one was clearly already deceased, he said.
The coroner's website indicated that both victims were injured at 1:15 a.m. and died at 1:31 a.m.
A friend who spoke at the scene of the crash on Thursday afternoon said Pillow was the "life of the party."
"She was just the most awesome person to be around. She was totally beautiful," friend Robert Marron said.
The man who was involved in the fight had moderate injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to a local hospital, Lassig said. That man is in his 20s, according to Lassig.
The altercation at the party was being investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Lassig said.
Authorities did not believe alcohol and drugs were a factor in the crash, and the driver of the Tundra was not arrested.
The description of what led to the crash and the reported ages of those involved changed over the course of the morning as authorities learned more about the incident. Authorities also initially said the man hurt in the fight was critically injured.