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Passenger in three-car crash rescues driver from burning car; trapped passenger dies

A driver in a burning car was pulled to safety following a three-car crash in Palmdale, authorities said.
(Los Angeles Times)

A passenger in an SUV involved in a three-vehicle crash in Palmdale was credited with rescuing the driver of a burning vehicle in which another person died, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said Friday.

The crash occurred about 10:30 p.m. at Rancho Vista Boulevard and 25th Street West when a 35-year-old man driving a Chevy Cruze westbound on Rancho Vista rear-ended a BMW stopped for a red light, authorities said.

The impact drove the BMW into the car stopped ahead of it, a Buick Enclave, and the BMW then burst into flames, authorities said.

A passenger in the Enclave immediately jumped out and ran to the burning BMW and pulled out the driver as flames engulfed the vehicle. A passenger trapped inside the BMW died, authorities said.

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The driver suffered multiple burns and was transported to a local hospital, authorities said. The individual’s condition was not immediately known.

The quick action by the Enclave’s passenger “absolutely” saved the life of the BMW driver, said Sheriff’s Det. Rowell Quemuel.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing but it appears that the speed of the Cruze before the collision may have been a factor, Quemuel said.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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