A single-vehicle accident under the 5 (Golden State) Freeway in Burbank killed five people and injured an 18-year-old woman early Saturday morning, authorities said.
The Nissan sedan hit a guardrail and crashed into a concrete pillar under the freeway near the Scott Road exit around 4:13 a.m. and became completely engulfed in flames, Burbank police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.
[Update: This updates and corrects an earlier version, which stated the sole survivor was taken to Providence Holy Cross. The woman was taken to USC Medical center.]
Five people who were inside the vehicle were confirmed dead at the scene while the 18-year-old woman, who was not named, was transported to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with a broken leg and other non-life-threatening injuries, he said.
It appears the woman, who was a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle, crawled out of the vehicle after the incident, he added.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but it appears that speed was a factor, said Ryburn. He said police do not know at this point if alcohol or drugs were a factor.
The sedan was equipped with five seat belts, but police said are still working to determine who might have been wearing them.
Initial reports said the vehicle was exiting the freeway at the time of the collision, but police now believe the vehicle was traveling southbound on San Fernando Boulevard at a high speed before the driver lost control and collided into the cement pillar.
The guardrail the driver crashed into before hitting the pillar was intended to prevent accidents of this nature, said Ryburn. The crash caused a small grass fire, which was put out shortly after Burbank fire officials arrived on scene.
The names, ages and genders of the people in the vehicle were not released as of Saturday afternoon as authorities worked to identify victims and notify family members.
“This is the biggest number of fatalities in an auto accident that I’ve seen,” said Ryburn.
Burbank police are asking members of the community who may have been in the area at the time of the incident to call the station at (818) 238-3100.