Los Angeles, CA Automobile Crashes Into Fire Truck, Jan 1983


Los Angeles (AP) -- A car carrying 10 people sped through a red light and slammed into a fire engine in a fiery collision that left seven people dead and nine others injured, authorities said.
"There's no evidence of any type of braking prior to impact," said traffic Officer Robert Williamson. "We checked that pretty carefully. The road was dry."
The accident occurred at 8:20 p.m. Sunday about four miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, Williamson said.
"According to three independent witnesses, the '71 Pontiac traveling at a high rate of speed ran through a red light that had been red for a while, probably between 10 and 15 seconds, and collided with the rear two wheels of the tractor part of the fire rig," he said.
The bodies of three men, one woman and two young girls, all Hispanic, were pulled from the charred wreckage and placed on the pavement. They were pronounced dead at the scene, and a third girl died later at California Hospital Medical Center, coroner's investigator Bill Sheffield said.
"The truck weighs 50 tons, and it pushed the fire engine 16 feet sideways," said Sheffield.
Firefighters involved in the wreck plus others from two trailing fire trucks immediately doused the flames, authorities said.
"According to fire department personnel who were at the scene, there were no bodies ejected from the vehicle," Williamson said.
The three injured people inside the car -- a woman and two children -- were listed in critical condition, hospital spokeswoman said today.
The woman was taken into surgery, said Cheryl Duren, nursing supervisor at Western Park Hospital Medical Center, and the children were in pediatrics intensive care unit at California Hospital, said nursing supervisor Marlene Delp.
The other six injured in the crash were firefighters who were treated at Orthopedic Hospital and released, said spokeswoman Anita Bennett.
"One suffered a broken wrist and the others were bruised and shaken up," Ms. Bennett said.
The girls who died ranged from 2 to 6 years old, the men were 20, 22, and 28 years old and the woman was about 25, he said.
The names of the three men are known, but were not released pending notification of relatives, he said.

Roswell Daily Record New Mexico 1983-01-25