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GRAPHIC: Uber driver, passenger killed in crash caused by suspected street racer

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:28 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:29 PM MST
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PALMDALE, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - Authorities in California are searching for a speeding driver who allegedly fled after causing a fiery crash that killed a rideshare driver and passenger.

Disturbing home security video captured the hit-and-run driver speeding around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday down Rancho Vista Boulevard in Palmdale, California, before the horrific impact. Detectives say the driver of the Dodge Challenger rear-ended a Toyota Corolla, which flipped into a light pole and erupted into flames, killing two people.

The victims were 28-year-old Spechelle Pope, a mother of four, and the Uber driver taking her to the grocery store.

The victims were 28-year-old Spechelle Pope, a mother of four, and the Uber driver taking her...
The victims were 28-year-old Spechelle Pope, a mother of four, and the Uber driver taking her to the grocery store.(Source: Family photos, KCAL/KCBS via CNN)

Jonathan Craig, who works at a 24-hour Denny’s nearby, rushed to the scene of the crash and helped pull the Uber driver out of the wreckage.

“It was a lot worse than I’d imagine. I still feel the heat on my arms,” Craig said. “I used an apron to pull him out; that’s how badly burned he was. He passed away… three minutes after me pulling him out of the fire. I told him to hang on, listen to my voice, the ambulance is coming, they’re on their way. He took his last breath.”

Craig says he saw the hit-and-run driver jump out of the Challenger and into an Infiniti that sped away. He hopes other witnesses from the Denny’s may be able to help the grieving families by steering detectives in the right direction.

“I could only hope they come forward and help because if that gentleman has a family or kids, they’re able to get closure,” Craig said.

Investigators suspect the driver of the Challenger had been street racing.

“We have had an increase in street racing issues in the area. We do have deputies out nightly that are trying to make an impact on the car clubs,” said Detective Liz Sherman with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The investigation is ongoing.

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