Authorities Thursday identified a 20-year-old motorist who was killed, along with his passenger, when the Chevrolet Corvette that he was driving crashed into a building in Gardena and caught fire.
Jose Padilla of Hawthorne was ejected from the sports car and pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which was reported about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the 13000 block of Crenshaw Boulevard.
Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said the name of the fatally injured passenger was being withheld, pending family notification.
Padilla apparently lost control of a silver 2006 Corvette while driving north on Crenshaw Boulevard, said Gardena police Sgt. Mark Thompson.
The car “struck the east curb of Crenshaw, then a power pole. The vehicle then continued across the front wall of a building, eventually coming to a rest, then immediately catching fire,” he said.
“At this time, it appears no other vehicles were involved,” Thompson said Thursday morning.
Some people at the crash scene had said they thought the Corvette was racing with another vehicle.
A fire department dispatch supervisor said the victims appeared to have been killed by the impact and not by the fire.
Crenshaw Boulevard was closed between 135th Street and El Segundo Boulevard while an investigation was conducted.
Anyone with information on the crash was urged to call (310) 217-6189.