A Los Angeles multi-vehicle crash near a gas station in the Windsor Hills neighbourhood have resulted in the death of an infant, a pregnant woman, and her unborn child and three others on Thursday, People reports.
According to the report, the Los Angeles County Fire Department first alerted the public to “a multiple casualty incident with reports of [multiple] injuries,” on Thursday afternoon, tweeting that it was called around 1:41 p.m. local time.
Later sharing a video of the Los Angeles multi-vehicle crash scene filled with firefighters, fire trucks, and police units, the department confirmed that five people died, and nine were hurt. Eight of those who were injured were taken to local hospitals. The crash is still being investigated.
The California Highway Patrol said, according to CBSLA, that a fetus, an infant, and three adults were among the deceased from the Los Angeles multi-vehicle crash. Of the eight injured, six were minors, per the Los Angeles Times.
Officer Franco Pepi, a CHP spokesperson, told the outlet that the pregnant woman’s unborn child is counted as the fifth fatality “due to rare circumstances.”
The CHP added that the chain of events started after a person driving a gray Mercedes-Benz flew through a red light on La Brea Avenue and Slauson. They hit roughly six cars, with multiple vehicles bursting into flames, per CBSLA.
The woman driving the Mercedes survived the crash and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, according to CBSLA.
The L.A. County Fire Department and CHP did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Witness Debra Jackson’s car went ablaze, she told the outlet, adding that she was forced to get out as quickly as she could.
“All of a sudden, I heard a big explosion, but as I was trying to turn around, the flames just went over everybody,” said Jackson.
“The flames went over my whole car and they told me to jump out of my car … because I was trying to get out of my car, to go to the gas pump. And I jumped out of my car and just left my car sitting right there.”
Veronica Esquivel, who saw the incident while pumping gas at a nearby gas station, added, “I hear all of the noises from all of the collisions, and then the fire explosion and I saw things, metal and things flying in the air. So, I just covered myself behind the pump.”
An anonymous witness told the Times what she saw from a United Oil gas station.
“I was getting out, had got gas,” she said. “All of a sudden that Mercedes is coming at me on … fire. I didn’t have any time to think about it. It hit my car. I veered, hit the bench on the side.”
Officer Pepi also told The Times that officials speculate the driver of the Mercedes is at fault; however, the cause isn’t clear.
KTLA reported that its aerial cameras captured two cars that were completely totaled and another car that suffered lots of damage.