Three people were killed and several others were injured in an eight-car crash at a busy intersection in Rialto Monday evening.
The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Valley Boulevard.
According to the Rialto Police Department, three people were pronounced dead at the scene and two others were transported to local hospitals with moderate injuries.
Investigators believe the driver of a Jeep Cherokee was traveling at a high rate of speed when they crashed into the rear of two vehicles near the intersection. Those vehicles collided with several other vehicles and at least two erupted in flames, police said.
The driver of the Jeep is believed to be one of the people killed in the crash. Witnesses told police that the vehicle was traveling at speeds between 80 and 100 mph.
Isabel Cobian works at a nearby restaurant. She said everything shook when the crash happened.
“We thought it was an earthquake, like a huge explosion,” Cobian told KTLA.
Cobian said one of the restaurant customers seated in her section was a former law enforcement officer who jumped into action to try and help.
“He went out to see what had happened,” Cobian said. “He said he tried to save a woman and a little girl but it was too late.”
The woman and the little girl were identified Tuesday as 33 year-old Ashley Gilroy and 8 year-old Marlee Maldonado of Highland. The two were riding in their Kia when the crash happened. Their dog was in the vehicle at the time of the crash and died as well.
Capt. Anthony Vega of the Rialto Police Department said a man tried reporting his wife and daughter missing before learning they were victims in the horrific crash.
“The father is going through the worst time of his life,” Vega said. “The husband, the father has lost everything that was important to him in that car.”
Vega added that officers did all they could to try and save the young girl and her mother from the wreckage, but were unsuccessful.
Video from Sky5 showed the scale of the crash at the intersection with some vehicles nearly unrecognizable due to the extent of the damage.
Traffic investigators were on the scene through part of Tuesday morning.
Police believe that the driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol when the crash happened.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Rialto Police Department at 909-820-2550.