CHP officers rescued a mother and her 9-month-old baby from a burning vehicle after it crashed into a tree and burst into flames in Santa Ana early Monday.
The 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe was headed northbound on the 55 Freeway off ramp at Seventeenth Street just before 4 a.m. when for unknown reasons it failed to negotiate a right curve, left the roadway and collided with a tree, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol.
Two CHP officers -- identified only as T. Montoya and D. Hansen -- quickly responded and were able to rescue 22-year-old Kathy De Rosa and her baby before the fire fully engulfed the vehicle, the release stated.
The driver, 23-year-year-old Leonardo Morales, and a 3-year-old child were already out of the SUV by the time the officers arrived.
All four occupants were transported to area hospitals. De Rosa and the 9 month old suffered major injuries in the fiery crash, while Morales and the toddler sustained moderate injuries.
Hansen was also treated for minor wounds.
According to CHP, "safety equipment" had not been used on the baby, but the other three occupants were wearing seat belts at the time.
Morales was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the release stated.