Three 13-year-old girls, including a pair of twins, were killed by a hit-and-run driver Friday evening while they were trick-or-treating in Santa Ana, police said.
The three were struck about 6:45 p.m. by a driver "going at a high rate of speed" westbound while they were in a crosswalk in the area of Old Grand Street and Fairhaven Avenue in front of Fairhaven Elementary School, said Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana police. Two men were being sought, police said.
All three girls were declared dead at the scene, said Orange County Fire Capt. Steve Concialdi.
The third girl was a friend of the twin sisters, Bertagna said. Both families had been notified, he said.
A crowd of about 200 people, many still wearing costumes, gathered near the scene, consoling one another as they watched the police activity.
Witnesses said the girls lived in the area.
Sharon Stewart, a barber at the nearby #1 Barber Shop, said she was eating outside when she heard what sounded "like a terrible crash. A couple of thumps. Then I heard screaming. I turned and I saw a car leaving and people yelling. So I thought, 'It’s a hit-and-run.' "
She said the vehicle passed her on Fairhaven, so she got in her car and followed. Stewart saw a young man run from the scene and heard him yelling at what she thought was his companion.
“I only saw one guy but I know there was somebody else,” she said.
Added Stewart: “There were a lot of people back there, quite a few witnesses. There was quite a few kids that did see it. I’m sorry they had to see it.”
About 10:20 p.m., a young man approached the police tape. He said he had heard there had been an accident. He could be heard asking, “Are they OK?”
Police took him aside. Bystanders identified him as the twins’ brother.
One girl told the Orange County Register than she knew one of the victims.
“It’s unbelievable how something like this could happen,” she told the paper. “She always had a smile, she would light up the room, and she was just a really good student.”