A fiery crash left three people dead in Northeast Philadelphia early Sunday morning, December 20.
The driver and two passengers were driving in Holmesburg on Rhawn Street around 3 a.m. when the driver lost control of the car and crashed head-on into a parked tractor-trailer.
Witnesses called 911. When police arrived, both the Chevrolet Camaro and tractor-trailer were on fire.
At least one witness tried to free the people trapped inside the burning vehicle but wasn’t able to.
“Before I knew it, the entire car was engulfed in flames. There was nothing I could have done,” the man told NBC.
“I just want the families to know, of whoever these victims are, this close to Christmas, that I tried. I tried to do everything I could to get them out of that vehicle. I tried. And I’m sorry that I couldn’t.”
The occupants of the Camaro, three women in their early 20s, have not been publicly identified.
Police told the Philadelphia Inquirer that live wires or leaked fuel likely caused the flames to spread to the tractor-trailer, as well as another tractor-trailer beside it.
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) December 20, 2015
Firefighters were able to stop the spread of the fire, and a spill of herbicide from one of the tractor-trailers.
“There was a couple rescue attempts, that I understand. They did an excellent job of stopping the spread of the fire and the spill–the fuel spill and the herbicide spill, containing that to Torresdale Avenue,” Philadelphia Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Michael Senski told ABC.
Officials expect Torresdale Avenue to be closed for most of the day, and an investigation into the crash continues.