By Marc Cota-Robles and Jaysha Patel
LONG BEACH, California (KABC) — A father and his 3-year-old daughter were killed after a pickup truck slammed into an apartment building in Long Beach Tuesday night.
Firefighters responded to the 6600 block of Rose Avenue around 10:21 p.m. after the driver of a 2014 Dodge Ram plowed into one of the apartment units, leaving multiple residents injured, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
A 42-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene and the young girl was taken to the hospital, but she did not survive her injuries. The coroner’s office identified the man as Jose Palacios Gonzalez.
Investigators say the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Rose Avenue when the truck collided into the apartment building. That driver, identified as a man between 20 to 25 years old, fled the scene on foot and remains on the run.
“It literally looked like a hurricane just came through and destroyed everything,” said Mohd Khatatba, a neighbor who said he helped pull the girl and the father from under the truck.
Neighbors say there were also a woman and boy inside the home.
“The father was underneath the truck with a bunch of rubble and stuff on top of him, and then a mattress and then you have the daughter, and then you have more rubble on top of her,” Khatatba said.
Khatatba lives right next to the building. He says he heard a loud sound and saw smoke outside his window.
When he discovered the crash he says he jumped into action with six others, trying to save the father and his daughter.
News of the tragedy shocked residents in the area who say there’s been a lot of trouble stemming from a nearby bar, where a deadly officer-involved shooting occurred in 2019.
Some area residents allege the suspect had left that bar before plowing into the apartment. However, the owner of the bar told Eyewitness News there’s no proof of that and surveillance video shows the driver coming from Artesia Boulevard, not the parking lot of her bar.
The bar owner says she is working with the police department and providing that surveillance video.
Meanwhile, the family has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.
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