The driver of a BMW was likely traveling more than 100 mph on a Riverside street before crashing into a tree in a fiery fatal crash, according to police who arrived to find small pieces of the car scattered in the road and in a nearby yard.
The driver and passenger were killed Wednesday in the single-vehicle crash and fire at about 3 a.m. on Jackson Street near California Avenue (map). The driver crashed into a palm tree and both victims died at the scene.
The car disintegrated in the crash, sending small pieces of debris into the street and the front yard of a property.
"I can't believe that's a car," said Carlos Rodriguez, who lives nearby. "It looks like it was from a scrap yard."
The driver and passenger were ejected from the car and thrown about 50 feet.
An officer on patrol witnessed the driver of the 1997 BMW go through two red lights, Riverside police said. The driver was traveling at an estimated 100 mph, according to police.
"By the time they turned around and tried to catch up to the vehicle, it had gotten way out in front of them," said Riverside Lt. Lary Gonzalez. "It's scary to think anybody could have been driving the opposite way in traffic."
Jackson Street is closed for the crash investigation. A light pole also was knocked down in the crash.