1 killed in high-speed wreck in Santa Ana; driver of 2nd car sought

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One person was killed following a high-speed crash in Santa Ana. The driver in one of the cars involved in the wreck fled the scene, police said. (KABC)

One person was killed following a high-speed crash in Santa Ana. The driver in one of the cars involved in the wreck fled the scene, police said.

The two-car crash, which was reported around 2 a.m. Monday, occurred near the intersection of 1st and Bristol streets. Debris was strewn across 10 lanes of Bristol Street.

What led up to the incident was not known, but investigators said based on where the cars ended up and the span of the debris field, it was likely that high speed was a factor in the crash.

Santa Ana police say the wreck appeared to be a broadside collision - a red Ford Mustang was traveling east and a Mercedes-Benz was traveling south.

Authorities said the driver of the Mustang, later identified as 61-year-old Mitchell Viturno, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and a passenger or passengers in the Mercedes-Benz fled the scene on foot with injuries, investigators said.

"We're trying to determine who indeed ran the red light. We have one driver that was determined to be deceased at the scene," said Cmdr. Enrique Esparza with Santa Ana police.

Though investigators do not know who was at fault, they said the driver who fled is still considered a hit-and-run suspect.

"When medics arrived, they found two people outside the Mercedes. We believe there may have been more people in that vehicle, but at this point we only have two that are at local hospitals right now," Esparza said.

Police said both of the individuals in the hospital deny being the driver. Authorities said forensic tests need to be conducted to find out who was behind the wheel.

The conditions of those who fled were not known.

Santa Ana resident Adilene Ruiz was driving her husband through the same intersection after work not long before the wreck happened.

"I almost cried because I can think it could be my family or someone from my family, so how scary is it," Ruiz said.

First Street was shut down in both directions at Bristol Street for the investigation.
Related Topics:
newstraffic accidenttraffic fatalitiescar crashsearchdriverdriver killedhit and runSanta AnaOrange County
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