PALMDALE – Authorities Thursday identified a driver who died along with his passenger in a fiery collision when a Dodge Challenger, believed to be involved in an illegal street race, hit their car from behind, causing it to slam into a light pole and burst into flames.
Paramedics pronounced both victims dead at the scene of the crash around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, at 11th Street West and Rancho Vista Boulevard.
The man was identified by the coroner’s office as Lesther Deleon, 37, of Lake Los Angeles. The woman’s name was withheld by authorities, but a man who said he was her father identified her to CBS2 as Spechelle Pope, 28, a mother of four children. He said his daughter was a passenger in a ride-hailing vehicle, on her way to get groceries.
Sheriff’s officials said the Challenger was westbound at a high rate of speed on Rancho Vista when it slammed into Deleon’s Toyota Corolla from behind, causing him to lose control of the car, which hit a light pole and rolled over, becoming fully engulfed in flames. Deleon was ejected, and his passenger was trapped inside.
The driver of the Challenger abandoned the car and left the scene in another vehicle described by witnesses a dark blue Infiniti.
Sheriff’s Detective Liz Sherman told media outlets that investigators believe the Challenger was involved in street racing, however the Corolla was not.
“We have had an increase in street racing issues in the area,” Sherman told Channel 2. “We do have deputies that are out nightly that are trying to make an impact on the car clubs.”
As of Thursday morning, no arrests had been reported by the sheriff’s department.
Jonathan Craig, who works at a nearby Denny’s restaurant, told KTLA5 he tried to save the Toyota driver from the wreckage.
“I was burning my hands. I took off my apron to try to pull him without burning myself. I pulled him to safety, which I thought was safety, and he stayed with me for about two more minutes,” Craig said. “I tried to keep his attention, you know, telling him to stay with me because he was groaning, he was still breathing, and eventually he stopped breathing. I never thought I’d witness something like that…”
Anyone with information regarding this crash is encouraged to contact the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2400.
Previous related story: Two killed in fiery traffic crash in Palmdale
22 comments for "Investigation continuing into fatal crash in Palmdale"
The driver of the car that drove away with the person driving the Challenger should also be charged.
Yes for helping a murderer get away they should have it worse
Really there you go off topic just stop
Rest In Peace Lesther we will and are missing you !! You definitely did not deserve this ! May God bless the other family involved as well . They will get justice!
For anyone who is reading this and would like to donate towards his funeral to help his family this is the link: https://gofund.me/e0c21189
To Clarify says
It is possible that he was ejected and ended up near the burning vehicle… Or that he was ejected and the vehicle rolled over to where he was then it caught on fire.
This is not a proof reading issue. It’s reading and comprehension issue.
Sherie Johnson says
This is big problem here in Lancaster as well. They dont seem to care if they hurt someone. I live on a residential street and I have called the sherriff’s department several times about this problem. I live in the middle of the block, they think our street is a drag strip !!!! They drive about 70 to 80 mph down the street I live on. This is a daily thing. They do this in daytime. And flip me off as they drive by, cuz I asked them to slow down. How many people are going to die before something is done. I dont feel safe driving in this town. They’re rude, cut out off & pass on the right.
Sad Situation says
Who is “they” … I know … it’s the freaking illegals and/or their anchor babes. Absolutely lawless individuals.
Daytona man says
We need a sting operation to stop these Daytona 500 wannabes in their low HP shit cars. The feel like they are going fast in a world of law biding drivers. They are stupid bullies. Catch the idiots fast
AV Resident says
Authorities will trace every step on this rental car. They will find this guy, but will take some time.
He can run…..but he cannot hide.
The murderer is facing felony manslaughter and hit and run. He’ll get close to twenty years.
..if he’s still in California..
He should be charged with murder.
It is amazing the Police have not arrested these people. Why not check every available CCT video in a 2 mile radius? How bout Enterprise Rental Cars office? Surely there is information to ID these people. No fingerprints in the car? DNA?
According to another LA area news site, the Challenger was a rental and registered to EAN Holdings LLC.
EAN Holdings is the parent LLC for Enterprise rent a car.
I don’t Understand how the driver was ejected but yet the person from Denny’s said he pulled him from the Burning wreckage with his apron.
Does anyone proofread these stories for accuracy?
Prayers to both families and especially the children… God bless them.
I saw the video where the whole street looked like it was on fire. He pulled him away from the fire not from the car
Aleta Aloe says
The driver of the Challenger was ejected and ran away. The guy from Denny’s was helping the guy in the other car. Maybe you should have read it a little more carefully?
To Clarify says
The guy driving the challenger was not ejected. The other driver was.
Clarify: The guy driving the challenger ran away.
Maybe you should read it more carefully