Surveillance video captured a horrific car crash that killed a 50-year-old South Bay man suspected of street racing.
A surveillance camera from Amenta's Bowling alley in Gardena shows a white Honda Accord crossing the intersection of Vermont Avenue and 155th Street when it was apparently broadsided by a speeding Ford Mustang, which police say may have been racing another car at the time of the crash.
The impact sent the Accord flying into a nearby car wash and the Mustang tumbling into parked cars.
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The driver of the mangled Mustang, identified as Brian Douglas Dion, was killed. Investigators said he may not have been wearing a seat belt.
A 19-year-old passenger in the Mustang, who was wearing a seat belt, and the driver of the Accord were hurt, but expected to be OK.
Debris from Tuesday night's fatal crash remained scattered along a stretch of Vermont Avenue. Candles and flowers marked the spot where Sam Amenta tried desperately to save Dion.
"A number of us leaned into the van and got the van up off a little bit so we could free his arm out and get him some freedom," Amenta said. "Hopefully at the time he knew we were there. He wasn't alive."
Dion's adult children urged the driver of the other car that may have been racing their father to come forward to help police investigate.
Dion's son, Brian Dion, said his father loved to go fast in his car.
"He just loved his car," the son said. "Basically that's all he liked to do is go fast."
Witnesses said a white Audi, possibly a 2008 or news A4, left the scene after the crash.
"Witnesses are telling us that the speeds of the two vehicles, the white Audi and the black Mustang, were in excessive freeway speeds - 65 plus - very, very dangerous for that street," said Lt. Steven Prendergast of the Gardena Police Department.
"They were racing, clearly racing," said car wash owner Susan Clark Dickens.
Amenta says he's been begging city leaders for a light at the intersection for years.
"I'm pretty pissed off, frankly," Amenta said. "I don't know what it's going to take. You always say it's going to take a death for someone to get something done - no. There's been multiple deaths out here and nothing is getting done."