A child and two adults were killed Tuesday in a fiery, single-vehicle crash on Colonial Drive near the Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando police said.
A heavy law enforcement presence was at the scene, where charred pieces of car parts and twisted metal wrapped around a tree.
"The car exploded in the worst way possible. Axles flew off the car," said witness Antwuan Ringer.
Ringer was feet away from the crash when he saw the victim lying outside what was left of the vehicle.
"I instantly picked up the phone and called my son while he was in class, because you never know," he said.
Orlando police shut down the west lanes of Colonial Drive at Fairvilla Road. West Colonial Drive reopened just before 3 p.m.
Police said two Orange County deputies were responding to an unrelated call when they heard the crash and rushed over as the car became engulfed in flames.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded, but the people inside were killed by the heat and flames.
Emergency personnel did their best to save the victims, Ringer said.
"The man, I watched him lay there," he said. "The cops tried to pull him away, they did their job. They tried, but he was on fire."
The three died at the scene.
While police have not released the victims' names, Raymond Anderson identified them as his nephew, his nephew's girlfriend and their 3-year-old daughter.
He said the three were on their way back from dropping other children off at school when the crash happened.
"They have been gone since 9 o'clock this morning," Anderson said. "It is a hurting thing just to lose a relative."
Raw: Police give update on fatal, fiery crash
Witness Russel Bellany was driving by when he saw the crash and tried to help.
"I jumped out of my car to possibly pull the body away from the fire, but the fire was too hot. There was nothing that I could do," said Bellany. "I feel really terrible about it."
The Orlando Police Department’s Traffic Homicide unit is investigating.
Officials do not know what led to the crash.
No other details were released.
Cox Media Group