Fresno police say a man barreled through a stop sign at about 70 mph, slamming into an SUV with eight children inside. It happened at California and Fruit avenues just after 1 p.m. Friday.
The wrecked Chevy Suburban finally left the crash site about six hours after a black Lexus slammed into it. Police say several of the eight kids in the SUV were thrown from it by the impact.
"I'm still touched behind this because I seen it with my own eyes," said George Travis, a witness. "One kid was thrown in the corner by the gate over there. He had a gash in his head."
Travis and several other witnesses rushed over to help the victims.
"And then there were kids, several kids that flew in the middle of the street," said Irene Campa, a witness. "And it was awful. The kids were crying in the middle of the street."
Campa was selling fruit at the corner. She said she heard the Lexus racing toward the intersection.
"He was going really, really fast, like it was a game for him. I don't know," said Campa.
Investigators say a motor officer working traffic enforcement clocked the Lexus speeding by at 71 mph in a 35 mph zone. The officer then tried to pull the Lexus over.
"He observed the vehicle actually pass some other traffic on the right hand side of the roadway and failed to stop for the stop sign here at California and Fruit," said Fresno police Sgt. Anthony DeWall.
The force of the crash sent both vehicles through the intersection -- stopping in front of a building on the northwest corner.
"At the very least we're going to do felony hit-and-run charges on him because he did actually try to leave on foot after the crash. The motor officer had to take him into custody. And then he has a felony warrant," said DeWall.
Witnesses say the scene was simply ugly.
"I've never seen this ever in my life. This is a tragedy," said Travis.
All 12 people, including the woman driving the Chevy Suburban and the two adult passengers in the Lexus, were transported to the hospital. Many are now concerned for the long physical and emotional recovery ahead.
Police say they don't suspect drugs or alcohol in the crash, and the black Lexus was not stolen. But Action News has learned the car was just sold six days ago. The new owner has not changed the registration. Action News is still waiting for police to provide us an update on all the victims.