LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three teenage girls trick-or-treating in Halloween costumes were killed by a hit-and-run driver at a Southern California intersection Friday night, authorities said.
The girls were in a crosswalk near an elementary school in Santa Ana when the SUV with two men inside hit them about 6:45 p.m., police and fire officials said.
The girls, whose names were not immediately clear, ranged in ages from 13 to 15, Orange County fire Capt. Steve Concialdi said. Two of them were declared dead immediately, and a third died as paramedics prepared to take her to a hospital, Concialdi said.
The scene was “very sad,” he said, “when millions of children, teenagers and adults are out trick-or-treating on a wonderful evening to insert tragedy like this.”
Police were seeking two men from an SUV that hit the girls, police Chief Carlos Rojas said at a media briefing.
The SUV was found abandoned near the scene, but the suspects had not yet been found, Rojas said.
Police were working to determine the girls’ names and to find their parents, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Jeff Evans was trick-or-treating with his 8-year-old daughter about a half-block away when he heard squealing tires, looked over and saw the collision.
“When we got over here, there was already a tarp over two girls,” Evans told the Orange County Register.
Soon after the accident some 60 people had gathered at the scene, where the fire department had chaplains and volunteers to counsel those upset by the incident.
Santa Ana is located near Anaheim and about 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Authorities in Washington state said two 7-year-old girls and a 20-year-old woman sustained life-threatening injuries when they were hit by a car while trick-or-treating in Vancouver.
The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/uLEpbL ) that police said a car jumped a curb and hit the trio.
A 33-year-old woman with them and the car’s 47-year-old driver, who remained at the scene, had less serious injuries.