An elderly woman died and five other people were seriously hurt in a fiery crash after the car they were riding in was rear-ended by a pickup truck while stopped at a red light late Friday, authorities said.
The crash occurred about 9:40 p.m. at Red Hill Avenue and Duer Road, the Santa Ana Police Department said in a written statement.
“The preliminary investigation has revealed a red GMC pick-up was headed south on Red Hill Avenue when it struck a black Chevy Cruz from behind as it waited for the red signal light at the intersection of Red Hill Avenue and Dyer Road,” the statement said. “The collision between the GMC and Chevy caused the Chevy to be pushed across the entire intersection before coming to rest and bursting into flames.”
An Irvine Police Department officer who happened to be nearby and some good Samaritans managed to get two adults and two children out of the Chevy before it ignited, officials said.
“Unfortunately, an elderly female in the back seat was pinned by the collision and died in the fire,” according to the police statement. She was identified as Deodula Omandum, 75, of Visalia.
The four other people from the Chevrolet, as well as the driver of the pickup truck, were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from moderate to major, police said.
Police described the 26-year-old man who had been driving the GMC pickup truck that rear-ended the stopped Chevy as “semi-cooperative.”
“Alcohol or drugs may have played a part in this collision,” the police statement said. The investigation was ongoing.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is asked to contact the Santa Ana Police Department’s Traffic Division 714-245-8200.