A car crash involving a speeding driver and a fully occupied Uber killed three people and left two others fighting for their lives early Saturday morning. 

According to preliminary reports from CHP, the multi-vehicle collision happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. in the Westmont neighborhood of Los Angeles near the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Century Boulevard. 

The victims were identified as Juvelyn Arroyo, 23, Veronica Amezola, 23, and Kimberly Izquierdo, 27, by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.

A white Mercedes-Benz sedan was traveling northbound on Vermont at a high rate of speed apparently trying to beat a red light, authorities said, when it collided head-on with a black Honda sedan driven by an Uber rideshare driver.

The impact sent the Honda spinning into the road. Responding officers located at least one body that had been ejected from a vehicle lying in the street.

  • 3 dead, 2 critical after violent car crash in South L.A.
  • 3 dead, 2 critical after violent car crash in South L.A.
  • 3 dead, 2 critical after violent car crash in South L.A.
  • 3 dead, 2 critical after violent car crash in South L.A.
  • 3 dead, 2 critical after violent car crash in South L.A.

One of the victims had to be extracted from the vehicle, officials told KTLA 5’s Carlos Herrera.

The three deceased victims were not immediately identified and were only described as three women who were passengers in the Uber. The driver and one passenger remain hospitalized in critical condition but were conscious when they were transported, police said.

Witnesses claim the Uber was stopped and waiting to take a left turn when the second vehicle was speeding and collided with the stopped car. They also said the crash happened so quickly, that the Uber driver had no time to even react.

“[The Mercedes] was probably going 80 or 85,” said Victor Gonzalez, a witness. “They were probably trying to beat the light but didn’t see the other driver, and that’s when the collision happened.”

Gonzalez said that he rushed to try and help some of the victims, but he found them unresponsive.

“I was trying to help the two girls in the back,” he said. “I started shaking them, you know, and talking to them and waking them up, but they weren’t responding and they weren’t breathing.”

Police are investigating whether the driver was speeding for a particular reason at the time.

“We’re trying to figure out what led up to this, to drive with such speed,” said LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno. “As we acquire more video, we’re seeing maybe there was another crime that may have been committed, forcing this person to drive the way they did.”

Investigators were interviewing witnesses at the scene on Saturday morning as the area was blocked to traffic. So far, officials said there is nothing to indicate that drugs or alcohol played a factor.

Tragically, police believe the deadly crash could’ve been easily avoided.

“It’s frustrating because, if you just drive the speed limit, slow down, follow the laws of the land, this wouldn’t happen,” said LAPD Sgt. Clarence Perkins.

An Uber spokesperson released a statement to KTLA on the crash, saying:

“We are heartbroken, and our thoughts are with the families of those involved in this devastating crash. We hope the driver and rider who survived recover swiftly.”