A speeding driver who ran a red light upon exiting the 91 Freeway in Gardena slammed into another vehicle, killing its two occupants overnight Sunday, officials said.
Officers responded to the incident at Vermont Avenue and Artesia Boulevard around 12:45 a.m., said Capt. Jon Pinto with the Los Angeles Police Department.
According to investigators, the male driver of a black 2016 Tesla exited the westbound 91 Freeway at Artesia Boulevard at a high speed when he failed to stop at a red light and smashed into a black 2006 Honda Civic at the intersection.
The driver of the Civic was turning left onto Artesia Boulevard when the Tesla struck his car, LAPD said.
Bystanders heard the crash and tried to help those involved, an employee at a nearby gas station told KTLA.
The two people inside the Tesla, believed to be in their 30s, were transported to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, authorities said. The man behind the wheel was not arrested, but the investigation is ongoing, police said.
The two individuals in the Honda were pronounced dead at the scene, according to LAPD. Officials only identified the driver as a 40-year-old man and the passenger as a 39-year-old woman. Their names are being withheld until notification of next of kin, police said.
Authorities issued a SigAlert for Artesia Boulevard near Vermont Avenue as they assessed the scene. The street was reopened by around 8:15 a.m.
Pinto said the collision was likely preventable.
“Speed, distracted driving would probably play the big factor in this investigation,” Pinto said. “This does happen time and time again, and unfortunately, two citizens lost their life early this morning.”
Editor’s note: The Los Angeles Police Department released new vehicle and victim descriptions later Sunday. This post has been updated.