Witnesses told police that a white Chevy Silverado pickup truck reached speeds of more than 80 mph before it slammed into a white Ford Fusion sedan about 1:10 a.m. in the 700 block of North San Pascual Avenue. Several parked cars were also struck.
The Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance video that shows the high-speed collision, followed by the two occupants of the truck running from the scene. Detailed descriptions of that driver and passenger were not available.
A neighbor said her 8-year-old son witnessed the horrific crash from inside their nearby home. According to the woman, the boy exclaimed: "I don't want to die!"
The two men inside the sedan were pronounced dead at the scene. They were later identified by loved ones as 19-year-old Jesse Felix Zuniga and his brother, 25-year-old Ben Felix Zuniga.
It’s with a heavy heart that we report that one of our former Panther track athletes passed away in a horrible hit and run car crash last night here in Highland Park. Jesse Felix Zuniga will be missed by his family, friends and the Panther community. #RestInPower pic.twitter.com/5KiFHkC5tD— FHS Panthers Track (@FHSPantherTrack) May 5, 2019
A neighbor said the two victims lived in a nearby home with their parents, and had apparently slowed down to park their car when it was hit by the truck.
Asked if street racing may have been involved, LAPD Detective Jose De Leon responded: "No. This was not a race incident. There's nothing to support that -- only that the white truck appeared to be traveling at excessive speed of maybe 70, 80, 90 miles per hour."
On Twitter, Franklin High School's track team paid tribute to Jesse Felix Zuniga.
"It's with a heavy heart that we report that one of our former Panther track athletes passed away in a horrible hit and run car crash last night here in Highland Park," the tweet said. "Jesse Felix Zuniga will be missed by his family, friends and the Panther community. #RestInPower"
A GoFundMe page has been created in honor of the deceased brothers.