Three teenagers trick-or-treating near Los Angeles were killed in a hit-and-run incident on Halloween night.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna was quoted as saying the vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed when it struck the three girls, who were well within the crosswalk.
The accident occurred on E. Fairhaven at approximately 6:45 PM. The three girls, all aged 13, two being twins, were actively trick-or-treating in the Los Angeles suburb at the time of the accident.
All three girls were pronounced dead at the scene, Bertagna reported.
After the collision, a witness followed the suspect vehicle, announced to be a Honda CRV, which had stopped at a shopping plaza north of the collision site.
Said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas, “We believe that we have damage that’s consistent with a vehicle collision and we do believe that that’s the vehicle at this time. We are still looking for the individuals that were inside the vehicle and, at this moment in time, we believe that they were two male blacks,” he added.
Bertagna also said there were many witnesses who were being interrogated. Authorities were also in the process of locating and informing the parents. Names of the victims have not been released.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that two of the girls died almost immediately and the third girl passed away while being prepared to be transported to a nearby hospital for treatment, Orange County Fire Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
The scene was “very sad,” Concialdi said, “when millions of children, teenagers and adults are out trick-or-treating on a wonderful evening, to insert tragedy like this.”
The scene was then filled with about 200 persons from the Los Angeles area, many still wearing Halloween costumes, trying to console one another. The Fire Department had sent in priests and counselors to help the throng cope with the tragedy.
One witness, Jeff Evans of Los Angeles, was trick-or-treating with his eight-year old when he heard squealing brakes, then looked over and saw the collision. “When we got over here, there was already a tarp over two girls,” Mr. Evans told the Orange County Register.
Authorities in Washington state said two 7-year-old girls and a 20-year-old woman suffered major bodily injury when struck by a car in Vancouver.
The Columbian reported that police said a car jumped a curb and hit the trick-or-treaters.
A 33-year-old woman with them and the car’s 47-year-0old driver, who remained at the scene, had injuries of a less serious nature.
[Image courtesy of CBS 2 Los Angeles]