Two men died after the car they were in veered off the roadway and slammed into a building in Gardena, near the border with Hawthorne, officials said Wednesday.
A large blaze engulfed the vehicle following the crash, which occurred in the 13000 block of Crenshaw Boulevard before 9 p.m., according to Lt. Steve Prendergast.
The northbound lanes of Crenshaw Boulevard remained closed from 135th Street to El Segundo Boulevard throughout the night, and it was unclear when they would reopen.
The car was speeding north on Crenshaw when the driver lost control, Prendergast said, noting that investigators believe speed was a factor in the incident.
After losing control, the vehicle jumped a curb, hit a pole then skidded alongside the edifice of Ramda Metal Specialties, a metalworking company in the industrial area, Prendergast said.
The car then came to a stop and burst into flames, he said.
Cesar Hernandez, who witnessed the incident, said bystanders were hoping to rescue the men from the blaze, but the flames were too fierce.
“While we were trying to rescue his body, there was an explosion,” he said. “We tried to go back but couldn’t risk it no more because the flames got bigger.”
Both bodies were still at the scene late Wednesday night, covered in white sheets.
Prendergast indicated that investigators were looking into whether the vehicle was possibly racing another car before the crash occurred.
No further details were immediately available.