Palmdale hit-and-run: 2 killed in fiery crash possibly caused by street racing, authorities say

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A hit-and-run driver who was possibly street racing slammed into a the back of a car in Palmdale, leaving two innocent people dead, authorities said.

The fiery crash was reported about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at 12th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's investigators said a Toyota Corolla caught fire after the crash.

"I realized the car was going to explode," said Jonathan Craig, who made an attempt to pull a male occupant out of the vehicle as the fire erupted. "At that time I was struggling, the flames were getting stronger."

Despite Craig's efforts, the driver and passenger of that vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. The identities of the two victims were not immediately disclosed.

Juan Zamora said he works the overnight shift near the scene and often sees drivers speeding in the area.

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"I'm not surprised by this," Zamora said. "I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, and it happened today and two unfortunately two people lost their lives today."

Sheriff's Detective Liz Sherman said the other car involved in the crash, a Dodge Challenger, was "traveling at a high rate of speed."

"It did rear-end the Corolla, causing the Corolla to lose control," Sherman said. The force of the impact pushed the Toyota into a light pole, after which the car caught fire.

Investigators believe the driver of the Challenger managed to flee the scene in another vehicle. Descriptions of that person and the third vehicle not available.

"We do believe the Challenger was involved in street racing, however the Corolla was not," Sherman emphasized.
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