A driver suspected of DUI was arrested in a fiery crash Saturday in South Los Angeles that left three family members dead on the scene and another two hospitalized.
A man in his 30's, his daughter and a six-month-old baby could not be saved. The mother and a nine-year-old boy were rushed to the hospital and remained in critical condition, LAPD said on Sunday.
Jose Garcia, 30, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and suspected of DUI. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Moments after the fiery explosion and crash, people were screaming and running for help trying to rescue people in a blue Dodge Caravan that was struck by a black Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle that apparently went through a red light at the intersection.
"It was terrible. I had to see these two little boys," witness Bobby Arredondo said.
He watched it all unfold around 7:30 Saturday. He said he saw the black vehicle westbound on Hoover Street speed up trying to make a traffic light.
"As he gassed on it, the blue van looked like it was going to make left on Hoover, and he broadsided it," Arredondo said.
He said the van was dragged down the street about 25 feet, hitting a curb, when it burst into flames.
Twenty-five firefighters were on scene along with four rescue ambulances.
Another woman who lives down the street said minutes before the deadly crash the same vehicle hit her neighbors van.
"We screamed at him, 'Hey!' and he just took off," Alma Munoz said about the minor incident that occurred moments before the fatal crash.
The Xterra driver suffered critical injuries.