Passenger Killed in Suspected DUI Street Racing Crash in Chula Vista

Witnesses told police two cars were racing at more than 100 mph before one driver, suspected of being under the influence, struck a tree, killing a passenger in the vehicle

A Southern California man died over the weekend in Chula Vista when a car traveling at more than 100 mph crashed. The man behind the wheel in the fatal crash has been arrested and accused of street racing, Chula Vista police confirm.

Sergio Isai Ramirez, 22, of Inglewood, died in the crash on East H Street and Corral Canyon Road just after 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said Ramirez was the passenger in one of two cars that were racing westbound on East H Street. The people who were inside both cars told police they were, at one point, traveling at more than 100 mph.

One driver failed to negotiate a slight curve in the roadway and spun out of control, police said. The car traveled over a median and slammed into two Magnolia trees, the CVPD said.

The impact from the crash “broke the trees in half," according to police.

The car then drifted into opposing lanes of traffic, coming to rest on a sidewalk. The driver of the second car stopped and tried to help the people inside the wreckage.

Police said the driver of the crashed car and one passenger were not injured. Ramirez, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers arrested the driver on suspicion of DUI, street racing and manslaughter, the CVPD said.

The driver of the second car was also arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Chula Vista resident Rose Hebron lives near the scene of the crash and told NBC 7 she was watching TV with her daughter, Gabby, when they heard cars speeding down the street, followed by screeching and loud noises.

When Hebron looked out a the street, she saw the wreckage. She said she could hear people screaming and one person asking, "Is he dead? Are you dead?"

She said drivers often speed down her street but this time, the outcome was horrifying. Hebron said she and her daughter immediately started praying for those involved in the crash.

"I prayed for them to be okay," Gabby told NBC 7. "And them not to be hurt; and for people to be alive."

Police shut down traffic on all lanes of East H Street overnight; the closures remained in place for many hours after the crash as investigators continued to collect evidence and clean up the scene.

The investigation in ongoing and no further details were released.

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