Seven people were hospitalized, including five children, when two cars collided in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
The crash occurred just after 1 p.m. on Avalon Boulevard, near the intersection with 77th Street and Fremont High School, according to the L.A. Fire Department.
Footage from the scene shows a compact Mazda hatchback with its front end smashed perpendicularly into the rear of a Chevrolet TrailBlazer.
LAFD Assistant Chief Jaime Moore said crews had to rescue people trapped inside, which was a challenge because the SUV overturned on its side and “crushed up” against a box truck parked along Avalon Boulevard.
The Chevy’s occupants included an adult driver and five children “of all ages, as young as an infant,” Moore said. A child’s car seat sat on the road amid the wreckage.
Two of the children were listed in critical condition at the scene, and their injuries were being further assessed at the hospital. The other three children didn’t appear to have major injuries but were “shaken up from being involved in such a horrific accident,” Moore said.
The assistant chief indicated he expects the children to survive.
“They’re young. Children are resilient,” he said. “It appears that they had their seat belts on.”
The two adults were also being treated, including the woman behind the wheel of the Mazda, Moore said.
Los Angeles police also responded to investigate the cause of the crash.
Moore said there were no skid marks at the scene.
“I don’t think they saw each other coming,” he told KTLA. “I don’t know if speed was a major factor in this incident.”
Investigators believe it was “just an unfortunate accident,” and drugs or alcohol aren’t suspected of playing a role, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.