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2 Dead, 3 Critically Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash, Hit-And-Run In South Gate

SOUTH GATE (  —  Authorities said two people were killed and five others injured in a two-vehicle crash in South Gate Saturday afternoon.

Three of the injured suffered critical injuries, police said.

The two victims who died were identified by authorities on Saturday as 15-year-old Angie Ruiz and 55-year-old Lester Larios, both of Bell.

Police said the driver of one of the cars fled the scene.

The crash was reported just before 4:30 p.m. on Garfield Avenue near El Paseo Street, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims.

KCAL9's Jeff Nguyen reported from the horrific scene.

Aaron Ponce and his parents were at the El Paseo Shopping Center in South Gate.

"It wasn't good what I saw," says Ponce.

What he saw -- left him shaking.

"There's a dad and a daughter right there who are already dead," he said. Officials described the deceased as a man in his 40s and a young woman in her teens or early 20s.

The deceased and critically injured were in a Mitsubishi Galant that was turning left on South Garfield Avenue into the Shopping Center.

That's when a silver Mercedes  T-boned the Galant, officials said.

Ophelia Padilla says several people in the Mitsubishi appeared unconscious.

Police said the driver of the Galant and a passenger left the scene. Officers managed to track the passenger down.

Investigators on Saturday evening released a picture of 22-year-old Bryan Rojas, the suspected driver.

Brian Rojas
(credit: South Gate Police)

Police said the sedan was speeding but do not know why.

The fact the sedan was reportedly speeding only angered the assembled crowd who heard the impact of the crash.

"They were saying oh stupid people, I don't know why they do this stuff," said Ponce.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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