The Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday released the names of two of the three people who were killed in a violent crash in Anaheim the previous day.
Jacob Rolon, 32, of La Mirada, and Alexander Smiller, 63, of Los Angeles, were in a Kia SUV that collided with a Mercedes-Benz sedan near the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Orange Avenue around 2:50 a.m. Tuesday.
First responders had to cut the roof off the Kia to reach the victims, which included a third person who has not yet been identified. All three occupants died at the scene, according to the Anaheim Police Department.
The Sheriff’s Department said it didn’t release the third person’s name because the next of kin has not yet been notified.
No one was found in the Mercedes-Benz, which was engulfed in flames when first responders arrived at the crash site. That prompted police to alert local hospitals to contact them if they were treating anyone with injuries consistent with those from a car crash.
Soon after, they located two women who are believed to be the Mercedes driver and her passenger
“They’re pretty seriously injured,” police Sgt. Shane Carringer said.
The women were taken to a hospital by a “good Samaritan” driver, according to the department. However, the incident is being investigated as a hit-and-run until the relationship between the driver and the two women can be determined, as well as the motivation for getting them away from the crash site, Carringer stated.
A witness to the aftermath of the fatal collision told KTLA it appeared the women were disoriented, and that bystanders had to help get them out of the car as flames erupted.
“They were pulled out of the white car because it was starting on fire. They were pulled out and put on the sidewalk, and after that they were put into a car and took to the hospital,” Manuel Vasquez said. “They didn’t even know what was going on.”
Investigators believe the Kia turned out of a parking lot in front of the Mercedes when the crash occurred, but the cause is still under investigation.
Speed may have played a role, according to Carringer.