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Three Girls Killed Trick-or-Treating By Hit&Run Driver In Santa Ana

Saturday November 1, 2014    11:58 AM

UPDATE: Police have made multiple arrests in connection with the Halloween hit-and-run deaths of three teenage girls who were out trick-or-treating in a Los Angeles suburb, authorities said Sunday.

Santa Ana police said officers made the arrests as of Sunday morning. They declined to provide additional details ahead of a news conference scheduled for Monday.

SANTA ANA, California - Three 13-year-old girls, two of whom were twins, in costume carrying bags of candy, were killed while trick-or-treating Friday evening in a hit-and-run crash in Santa Ana.

The three girls were hit about 6:45 p.m. by a driver "going at a high rate of speed" westbound while they were in a crosswalk in the area of Old Grand Street and Fairhaven Avenue, directly in front of Fairhaven Elementary School, said Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana police.

All three girls were declared dead at the scene, said Orange County Fire Capt. Steve Concialdi.

The third girl was a friend of the twin sisters, Bertagna said.

All families have been notified and are at the scene, he said.

A crowd of about 200 people, many still wearing costumes, gathered near the scene consoling one another as they watched the police activity.

Witnesses said the victims lived in the area.

Police say they have located the suspect vehicle, a Honda SUV, found behind a Big Lots store near the crime scene.

"It has damage to the front of it and evidence inside it," Bertagna said. Witnesses followed the car after the collision, but lost the suspects once they fled on foot, police said.

Sharon Stewart, a local hairstylist, said she heard "a terrible crash. A couple of thumps. Then I heard screaming. I turned and I saw a car leaving and people yelling. So I thought, 'It's a hit-and-run.'" Stewart jumped into her car observed a young man run from the scene. She heard him yelling at what she thought was his companion. "I only saw one guy but I know there was somebody else," she said.

Police are looking for two men who reported to be in the car at the time of the incident.

"We believe that we have damage that's consistent with a vehicle collision and we do believe that that's the vehicle at this time," Rojas said.

"We are still looking for the individuals that were inside the vehicle and, at this moment in time, we believe that they were two male Blacks," he added.

Last night police were attempting to locate the parents of the children.

Anyone with more information about this case was asked to contact police at (714) 245-8665.

In other Halloween death news, a 2-year-old trick-or-treater was struck and killed by a bus in Lake Wales, Florida, on Friday evening. According to witnesses, the precious little boy had apparently wandered into the street after getting out of his stroller. The fatal accident happened at around 7:25 p.m., between U.S. Highway 27 and 1st Ave. North. Police have not charged anyone in his death, according to WFLA.

Two 7-year-old girls and a 20-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries Friday when they were struck by a vehicle while trick-or-treating in east Vancouver, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Photo: Fatal hit-and-run in Santa Ana Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times Friends of the girls killed in Santa Ana on Friday weep at the scene of the hit-and-run.
Photo 2: Fatal hit-and-run in Santa Ana Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times Santa Ana police investigate a fatal hit-and-run that left three teenage girls dead Friday night.
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