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Street racing may have caused fiery crash that killed 2

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — A hit-and-run driver apparently was street racing before causing a fiery crash that killed two people in northern Los Angeles Country, authorities said Wednesday.

A speeding Dodge Challenger rear-ended a Toyota Corolla, which spun out and struck a light pole around 12:30 a.m. near the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale, officials said.

The Toyota wasn’t involved in racing, authorities said.

Videos from the scene showed a car streaking along the road before hitting the Toyota, and the Corolla engulfed in flames.

The man driving the Toyota was flung from the car, but a woman passenger was trapped in the burning vehicle.

Jonathan Craig, who works at a 24-hour Denny’s restaurant nearby, told KCBS-TV that he tried to help the man, whom he saw through flames.

“I used an apron to pull him out, that’s how badly burned he was,” Craig said. “He passed away, I want to say, three minutes after me pulling him out of the fire. I told him to hang on, listen to my voice, the ambulance is coming, they’re on their way … He took his last breath.”

The driver and the passenger died at the scene. Their names weren’t officially released.

However, her brother identified the woman as Spechelle Pope, 28, a Palmdale mother of four young children.

She had called a rideshare car to take her to a store to buy juice, Justuss Pope said.

”It just hurts,” he told KCBS-TV. “Especially when you see everything is on fire, that’s just unhuman-like. It’s disregard for life.”

The driver of the mangled Challenger abandoned it and possibly fled in a third car, authorities said.

“We do believe that the Challenger was involved in street racing,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Liz Sherman told KABC-TV.

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