A drunk driving suspect was arrested Sunday in connection with a fiery two-vehicle crash in South Los Angeles that killed two young children and their father and sent the rest of their family to the hospital, police said.
Jose Garcia, 30, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter and was jailed, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.
Garcia was speeding north on Hoover Street in South Los Angeles around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when he ran a red light at West 76th Street and crashed into a Dodge Caravan with a family of five inside, including three children, Lopez said.
The two cars then erupted into flames, drawing ambulances and frantic residents of the Vermont Knolls neighborhood from their homes.
A witness told KTLA5 she saw a child being walked to an ambulance: “His body was charred and his clothes had literally melted onto him.”
Three people who were in the van — the father, a young girl and a baby boy — died at the scene, Lopez said.
The mother, who is in her 30s, and another boy were taken to the hospital in severe condition, he said.
None of the victims’ names have been released.
Garcia, the sole occupant of a Nissan Xterra, was also taken to a hospital, then released and handed over to officers, Lopez said. It was determined he had been driving under the influence, he said.
Garcia is being held on $330,000 bail, according to L.A. County Sheriff’s Department records.