Updated at 4:50 p.m. Aug. 17 with the driver's name and 9:15 a.m. Aug. 18 with the passenger's name.
One person was killed and another injured Tuesday when their car tumbled down an embankment at and burst into flames, authorities said.
The injured driver, 21-year-old Alexander Goodrich, of Dana Point, suffered moderate injuries, and Bryan Ferguson, also 21 and a resident of Dana Point, was pronounced dead inside the burning vehicle. The accident occurred about 4 p.m.
Authorities are still looking into the cause of the crash. Those who witnessed it said the Jeep sped down Del Obispo Street, swerved across the north and southbound lanes and ran a red light.
Justin Schuda, a varsity coach with Capistrano Valley Christian School’s baseball team, was holding a catching clinic for a few players on the ball fields at Marco Forster at the time of the accident.
“I heard tires screeching and almost like an engine revving,” Schuda said. He looked up in time to see the car crash through the fence on Del Obispo and careen toward a maintenance shed.
He was perhaps 40 yards away.
Schuda called 911 and started running toward the car. By the time he was 10 to 12 feet away, he could see flames.
“The lady on the dispatch said, ‘Please don’t go toward the car, sir,' " Schuda said.
By that time, other passersby were already trying to help. A man called to someone for a knife. Schuda said he used the knife to cut through the driver’s seat belt.
Schuda said the car took maybe 20 seconds to burst into large flames. “By the time I got there, the little fire coming out of where the engine was ignited some of the hill, the bushes. It ultimately got too big. We had to back off.”
Goodrich, once free from the car, appeared to have a leg injury, Schuda said. “He was saying, ‘Help my friend.’ He was kind of mumbling. It seemed like he was in shock, too. He walked on his own power.”
Later in the evening, rescue crews pulled up the car, with Ferguson's body still trapped inside, from the bottom of an embankment.
San Juan Capistrano resident Dale Hector said he was driving in the area when he saw the car speed by. He called 911, then stopped to help with a fire extinguisher.
"It's not every day when you hear someone die and you can't do anything about it," Hector said, referring to the screams coming from inside the vehicle. "You never know when it's your time or how you will go. My prayers are with that soul and his family."
Traffic was closed in both directions on Del Obispo Street between Camino del Avion and Vermeulen for several hours while the Sheriff's Department investigated the cause of the crash.