RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Investigators are releasing heartbreaking new
details about a violent, fiery crash that took the life of a woman and her
daughter while they were stopped at an intersection in Rialto.
Police say the driver of a Jeep Cherokee, who had apparently been drinking
beer, was speeding down Valley Boulevard at 80-100 mph when he first
sideswiped one vehicle and kept going without even tapping his brakes.
The Cherokee slammed into the back of a Kia Sorrento that was stopped for
a red light at the Riverside Avenue intersection. That set off a chain
reaction of collisions at the intersection, with eight vehicles in total
incurring damage from the incident.
The crash was so powerful, it left the Kia and another vehicle mangled
into what appeared to be a single piece of wreckage that burst into flames
in front of a gas station on the corner.
A woman and her daughter were trapped inside the burning Kia. Bystanders
tried to help, but they couldn't get past the flames into the wreckage.
The driver of the Cherokee was killed at the scene, in addition to the
mother and daughter in the Kia.
Two additional drivers were rushed to the hospital with non-life
Police say later that night, a man showed up at the Rialto police station
looking for his wife and daughter. They had been visiting family in the
area and he hadn't heard from them.
When he said they were in a Kia Sorrento, detectives made the tragic
"It was a tough situation last night," said police Capt. Anthony Vega on
Tuesday. "We had our chaplain there when we delivered the information."
"The way he put it was, everything he loved and lived for was in that
Investigators later say they found beer cans in the Cherokee, so they are
considering both alcohol and speed as factors in the crash. The next day
there did not appear to be any skid marks in the street, indicating the
driver made little attempt to slow down before the crash.
Before the crash, the Cherokee sideswiped a Chevrolet Silverado near the
intersection of Willow Avenue. The driver of the Silverado watched the car
speed down the street and did not see any brake lights before it slammed
into the Kia, police say.
Anyone with information on the crash is urged to contact Traffic Sgt. Dan
Smith at (909)644-6025
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