PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Three people were killed in a fiery crash overnight when a car slammed into a tractor-trailer that was parked illegally in Northeast Philadelphia.
It happened around 3 a.m. at Torresdale Avenue and Rhawn Street in the Holmesburg section of the city.
Witnesses told police a Chevy Camaro was speeding along Torresdale Avenue when it went airborne and crashed into a parked tractor-trailer. That tractor-trailer caught fire and leaked fuel, causing a second tractor-trailer to also catch fire.
Police said fire crews arrived to find all three vehicles engulfed in flames. Firefighters put out the blaze and found three people, all believed to be women, dead inside the car.
Philadelphia Police Captain Anthony Ginaldi said the second tractor-trailer leaked a herbicide, and they called in hazmat crews as a precaution.
“It was powder form,” he said, “and their own concern was that as they were extinguishing the fire some of the powder may have run off down the gutter, and they were containing that.”
There was no initial word on whether alcohol was involved in the crash, but investigators said the tractor-trailers were parked illegally. Bruce Gasperi owns Al’s Deli just a few hundred feet from the crash. He said this wasn’t the first crash involving the tractor-trailers.
“There have been a few accidents,” he said, “people running into the backs of the trucks, people running into the sides of the trucks.”
The identities of the three victims were not immediately released.
Torresdale Avenue was shut down between Rhawn Street and Enfield Avenue while police and fire officials investigated the accident.