A mother from Orange and her 5-year-old daughter were burned to death Monday when their car erupted in flames after being involved in a chain-reaction accident, Santa Ana police said.
Blanca Estela, 36, and Jenny Fraga were trapped inside their burning car. The flames were so intense, officers said, that three passers-by failed in their attempts to rescue them, officers said.
According to investigators, the victims had stopped for heavy traffic in the 3800 block of West 17th Street about 4 p.m. when their car was rear-ended by another vehicle and slammed into two cars with such force that the gas tank exploded.
The driver of the car that struck Estela’s, 28-year-old James Logan of San Pedro, fled the scene of the accident on foot but called police an hour and a half later to surrender. He was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, officers said, and was being held in the county jail ward at UCI Medical Center where he was being treated for cuts and bruises.
The drivers of the two other cars involved in the accident also suffered minor injuries.