Witness: “Nothing We Could Do” After Car Burst Into Flames

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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A woman was rescued but three others were killed following a severe crash in Hollywood.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, at Hollywood Blvd. and 35th Avenue, when a black Nissan allegedly struck a white minivan.

“A preliminary investigation shows that one vehicle was speeding westbound on Hollywood Boulevard and crashed into a turning vehicle,” said Hollywood Police.

Fire quickly engulfed the Nissan, trapping several passengers inside.

“We arrived on scene with a car fire and multiple fatalities,” said Hollywood Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Jose Morales. “One patient was already out of the vehicle, being attended by a civilian. And the other people were still in the vehicle that was engulfed.”

Stephanie Leuenberger, a nurse, was on her way to work when she saw the crash.

“The lady in the white van was right in front of me,” she said. “She was making the left turn when the signal came on and the black Nissan came flying through the light and hit her.”

Several bystanders, including two other nurses, ran over to help.

“A guy tried to see how they were doing in the car that burst into flames but we couldn’t get anywhere near that, so we tried to help her,” said Leuenberger. “There was two other nurses that showed up who tried to break the windows with their shoes. Anything we could do, because we didn’t have anything to break it open.”

That’s when an officer arrived and was able to break through the window, pulling her out.

“Her car was smoking but luckily it never burst into flames,” Leuenberger added. “She was shaken up, she looked okay, but there was nothing we could do for the other car.”

The impact sent the car into a bus stop. Fortunately, no one was sitting there.

“It looks like he hit the front-side (of the minivan) and she spun a couple times, and he or she, I’m not sure who was in the vehicle, ended up going right through the bus terminal and spinning again and burst into flames,” Leuenberger added.

Investigators with the Hollywood Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit are investigating.

Police have not yet released the victims’ identities.

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