Two mothers and their four children were killed after their minivan caught fire in northern Los Angeles County on Tuesday.
The blaze in the vehicle, which was involved in a minor wreck, was so intense that the fathers of the families were held back.
As reported by KRON 4, the fathers have been identified as Aaron Hon Wing Ng (34) and Wei Xiong Li (45). They were able to escape the crash, which occurred on Tuesday, and sustained burns while trying to help their families out of the vehicle. The mothers and children have not been identified as of yet.
The two families had rented the minivan for vacationing in Southern California, officials said.
As reported by ABC 7, the incident occurred at around 3:30 a.m. when the vehicle the two families were in collided with a black BMW on Interstate 5 near Gorman, about 65 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
After the collision, the minivan was still in the travel lane. A semi truck struck the minivan from behind and threw it off the road. The minivan was pushed down an embankment where it caught fire and took the lives of the mothers and children.
“Words can’t describe what that was like when we arrived on scene,” Officer Dan Williams said. “It was very horrific seeing them trying to get their families out, us trying to help get their families out. Like I said, the van went up in flames very, very quickly.”
Williams and his partner, Jeff Burdick, tried to help the victims inside the vehicle using fire extinguishers, but they were unable to. Burdick said it was difficult to hold the fathers back from the fire. “We just held them,” Burdick said, as reported by ABC News. “That’s all we could do.”