A violent and fiery crash in Garden Grove following a brief pursuit left a male passenger dead, and the driver and two others injured on Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Law enforcement officials began pursuing a black Honda Accord around 1:30 a.m. for allegedly speeding on the northbound 5 Freeway, south of the 22 Freeway, in the Santa Ana area, California Highway Patrol Officer Olivera said.
The driver fled add exited Chapman Avenue, where he crashed into a Toyota Camry. Everyone inside the second vehicle was OK following the collision, Olivera said.
The pursued driver continued to flee westbound on Chapman and into Garden Grove until losing control, and crashing into a pole and wall near Gail Lane, he said. Tire marks could be seen across the roadway and leading to the wall at the scene.
Carlos Solorio says his bedroom faces the crash scene.
“All I heard was a car zooming by, and the screaming of the tires. … I heard the impact and at that moment the room lit up from the flames of the explosion,” he said.
A CHP and Garden Grove officer at the scene were able to remove the driver and two passengers from the Honda before it burst into flames, Olivera said. A third passenger died.
“If it wasn’t for the sergeant and the officer, we could have had four fatalities today,” Olivera said of the rescue.
The driver sustained major to moderate injuries and could face felony evading and hit-and-run charges, on-scene officials said.
A female passenger in the Honda suffered major injuries and a male passenger sustained minor injuries.
Investigators were trying to determine why the driver fled when CHP made contact, and if we was driving under the influence, Olivera said.