HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KABC) --A deadly street racing accident in Hawthorne on Friday claimed the life of an innocent victim after he was hit by one of the two racing cars.
Surveillance video showed a silver Chevrolet Cobalt heading northbound at high speeds on Crenshaw Boulevard near 131st Street followed by a red Chevy Camaro at about 1 p.m. before the Cobalt suddenly careened across a center divider.
"One of the vehicles lost control, swerved across the highway and hit that small center divider right there," said Lt. Ti Goetz of Hawthorne police. "But he was at such a high rate of speed that his vehicle actually went airborne and met this vehicle traveling southbound right on the driver's side."
The horrific collision crushed a Honda CRV driven by a 35-year-old man. The unidentified victim was killed instantly, police said.
The driver, identified by police as 23-year-old Alfredo Perez of Hawthorne, did not suffer any significant injuries.
Perez was taken into custody at the scene and faces a murder charge.
The driver of the red Camaro involved in the street race took off and continued going northbound.
Police said traffic is heavy on Crenshaw Boulevard, and the area is not known for street racing.
"We're attributing probably part of the crash to the fact that it was so congested, the drivers were trying to maneuver their way through traffic," Goetz said. "When you're traveling at a high speed, it's easy to lose control of your vehicle."
Authorities hope the public will provide information that will help them find the driver of the Camaro, who they said shares responsibility for the tragedy.
"That's why we tell people, 'don't engage in street racing,'" Goetz said. "There's all kinds of tracks and highways you can go out to where it's safe and lawful to do it. This is not the place."