Police probe possible role of street racing in crash that killed Santa Ana father of 3

Saturday, October 27, 2018
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Police are investigating if street racing was a factor in a crash that led to a Santa Ana father of three being killed.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Police are investigating if street racing played a role in a crash that killed a 68-year-old father of three in Santa Ana Thursday night.

The crash occurred on the 1800 block of Cedar Street at about 7:30 p.m. Several mangled cars still lined the street Friday during the day where the deadly crash occurred.

"I was actually back here, and I just heard the loud crash and I just went outside," neighborhood resident Claudia Cardenas said. "I saw everyone going that way."

Police say a 19-year-old driver lost control of a BMW, hitting and killing the victim, Jose Martinez, and then crashing into several other cars. The driver of the vehicle stayed on the scene and cooperated with police.

Police said Martinez was standing on the driver side of his parked car when he was hit by the speeding BMW.

Neighbors said Martinez was a father of three and well-liked by people on the block.

One neighbor said the victim operated a food truck and lived on the street where the crash happened.

His family was at the scene, horrified by the crash.

"I know he was a really nice guy," Cardenas said.

Police are investigating exactly what caused the crash and have ruled out drugs and alcohol.

They are looking for a second car they believe is involved, and are probing how it may have been involved.

"Witnesses that say there were engines revving, we have people saying high rate of speed," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department said. "What we don't know, was the second vehicle driving in front of this vehicle."

Police have not ruled out street racing, but are looking at all possibilities.

Residents said the narrow street where the crash occurred can be extremely dangerous.

"There's been so many people passing with cars really fast, I've known this street my whole life," Cardenas said. "Basically, it worries us a lot."

Anyone with information or video that may assist detectives is urged to contact Santa Ana police.