Dad Tried in Vain to Save Family in Fiery Calif. Crash

Was following wife, 4 kids when vehicle hit their SUV
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2014 3:15 AM CST
Father Witnesses Family Killed in Fiery Calif. Crash
The remains of the SUV after the crash near Fresno, California.   (WorldBreakingNews)

A California father who was driving behind his family's SUV tried in vain to save them from the fiery wreckage after a vehicle ran a stop sign near Fresno and plowed into their vehicle. The man's 29-year-old wife and their four children—1- and 3-year-old boys and girls ages 6 and 11—all died at the scene, reports the AP. The father received burns to his hands from his attempts to free his family from the vehicle, which included breaking the windows.

Witnesses say that within moments of the collision, the SUV was engulfed in flames up to 15 feet tall. "My husband ran out, he saw a car engulfed in flames and a man running around the car wanting to get his family out," a witness tells the Fresno Bee. "He was in such shock we just had to pull him away," she says, describing the scene as heartbreaking."He lost his whole family in five seconds because somebody couldn't stop." The California Highway Patrol says the other driver, a 41-year-old woman, was injured in the crash and there is no evidence that drugs or alcohol played a role, the Los Angeles Times finds. The crash came a week after six people were killed by a wrong-way driver in LA County. (Read more car crash stories.)

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