BURBANK (CBSLA) – Three young people were killed and two others seriously injured in a fiery multi-car wreck in Burbank late Tuesday night that investigators believe was caused by street racing.
The collision occurred at 11:50 p.m. in the area of Andover Drive and Glenoaks Boulevard. According to Burbank police, surveillance cameras showed a Kia and a Mercedes street racing when one of the cars slammed into a Volkswagen that was making a left turn.
The Volkswagen, which was carrying four people, split into several pieces and caught fire. Three of its occupants were killed on scene and the fourth was rushed to a hospital in serious condition, police said.
"I heard the biggest collision in my life," said Dwip Biswas, a homeowner who lives by the crash site.
At least one of the occupants of the Volkswagen was ejected.
"They didn't find the boy's body in the trees for at least 15 to 20 minutes," Michael Weston, who lives nearby, told CBSLA.
The victims were identified as 21-year-old Cerian Baker of Pasadena, 20-year-old Jaiden Johnson of Burbank and 19-year-old Natale Maghaddam of Calabasas.
The two street racing cars made it a little further down the street before also careening into several parked cars. The driver of the Kia was also taken to a hospital in serious condition, police disclosed.
"It's a very sad, sad day for multiple families," Burbank police Sgt. Emil Brimway told reporters. "We have three lost individuals who have passed for something that was absolutely preventable."
Investigators interviewed the driver and passenger of the Mercedes. They were released at the scene.
"Based on the fact that the vehicles were traveling for several blocks, side by side, at a very high rate of speed, I believe that they were racing," Brimway said.
A four-block section of Glenoaks Boulevard was shut down between Cambridge Drive and Tuffs Avenue for several hours while police investigated and cleared the debris.
Baker graduated from John Burroughs High School in 2018. Friends said he was a football player, artist, and musician. Baker's father, Tony Baker, spoke to CBSLA Thursday about spending time with his son while shopping for groceries.
"I would pick them up from school and we would hit Costco up," Tony Baker said. "Get the free samples. We would just hang out in Burbank. Free samples were life. They could do homework in the furniture section."
Fale Hunter, a friend of Jaiden Johnson, said he was a talented individual.
"Jaiden was a producer," Hunter said. "He worked on his beats. He made 5 or 6 beats a day."
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