5 dead in fiery crash in Southern California

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 29, 2013 at 1:23 am •  Published: September 29, 2013
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BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — Five people were killed early Saturday morning after their car spun out and burst into flames in Burbank, trapping people inside, officials said.

Firefighters assisted the coroner's office in removing the bodies, which were "burned beyond recognition," from the wreckage for further investigation, Burbank Fire Capt. Peter Hendrickson said.

Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner said fingerprints or dental records would be used to identify those killed depending on how badly they were burned.

There was one survivor, an 18-year-old woman who managed to crawl out of the burning Nissan and was found by police about 50 yards away from the wreckage when they arrived shortly after 4 a.m.

The woman suffered a broken leg and was being treated for non-life threatening injuries at the Los Angeles County Medical Center, Sergeant Darin Ryburn said. He said her father was with her at the hospital.

Paramedics reported smelling alcohol on her breath, Fire Battalion Chief Ron Barone said. Authorities don't yet know whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash — the woman was not the driver — but speed does appear to be a factor.

The car burst into flames after striking a guardrail near an I-5 off-ramp and careened into a freeway pillar behind it.

"It's a horrific scene, it's just, it's a tragedy," Ryburn told reporters at the scene, where the burned hulk of the car sat Saturday afternoon.

Scores of young people visited the crash site throughout the day and into the evening, leaving candles, flowers, posters and pictures. Some sobbed as they embraced one another.

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