A 24-year-old Santa Ana man was in police custody Thursday on suspicion of driving under the influence and causing a two-vehicle crash that killed two adults and a 10-year-old girl in Placentia.
Placentia Police Department officers responded at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday to the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and South Melrose Street where they learned the driver of a black Honda Civic crashed into the rear of a white van, from which several people were ejected.
Several other vehicles were involved in the crash, authorities said. As many as eight other people suffered injuries, ranging from minor to life-threatening, police said.
Three victims were taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange with serious injuries and two children were rushed to Children’s Hospital Orange County, where one — a 10-year-old girl — was pronounced dead, police said.
A man and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
A church employee was driving the victims home from a Bible study group, Placentia police Sgt. Joe Connell said. Police suspect the cause of the crash was DUI-related, the sergeant added.