(Reuters) - Three teenage girls were killed while trick-or-treating in southern California on Friday evening when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver, authorities said.
The girls, ranging in age from 13 to 15, were in costume and carrying candy bags when they were hit while walking across a Santa Ana street at around 6:45 p.m., said Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi.
All three were pronounced dead on the scene, Concialdi said.
"It's a horrific accident, very tragic," he said.
Police later found the sports utility vehicle involved in the incident ditched behind a nearby retailer, said Santa Ana Police Department spokesman Anthony Bertagna.
The girls were not immediately identified as police worked to contact their parents, Bertagna said. He said the car had been driving at a high rate of speed through the intersection before it hit the girls.
Police were on the scene and interviewing the many witnesses in the area, Bertagna said. Concialdi said that chaplains from the fire department were also on scene, counseling families who were out celebrating the Halloween holiday.
Santa Ana is a city of about 325,000 people 35 miles (56 km) south of Los Angeles.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Robert Birsel)