Witnesses rescue two girls from burning vehicle after alleged high-speed chase and crash at Lincoln and Church streets in Stockton, Dec. 31, 2013.
STOCKTON - A high-speed chase involving two cars ended in a fiery crash that could have killed two girls in Stockton Tuesday night if not for people who rushed to help.
The crash was at Church and Lincoln streets, near downtown Stockton, at about 7:30 New Year's Eve night.
One of the vehicles crashed and caught fire, which brought several people from nearby to the rescue.
"Children were involved. I'd rather burn than the children," said Brad, a homeless man and one of the rescuers.
Church and Lincoln streets are in one of Stockton's roughest neighborhoods, where crime and homelessness are ongoing problems.
"The whole neighborhood showed up. We're not a bad neighborhood, we're just misfits," said Dana, a witness to the crash.
The girls are 10 and 8, and in critical condition at a Sacramento hospital. Twenty-three-old Andrew Lopez was the driver and he is facing child endangerment and driving under the influence. Police said it wasn't clear how Lopez was connected to the girls.
By Tim Daly, firstname.lastname@example.org