CHICAGO - Three members of the same family were killed early Friday morning in fiery crash on Chicago's Far South Side.
Officers responded around 1 a.m. to a report of a crash in the 3300-block of East 100th Street, near the Chicago Skyway.
Three cousins, identified as Michael Battista, 48; Anthony Flores, 30; and Ralph Quiroz, 47, were pronounced dead at the scene.
"Everybody is just devastated, and to be one whole family, it is just tragic. We are all trying to cope and can't believe it's even happening," said Mary Belcher, Battista's sister.
Police said they were heading west in a 2016 Chevy Malibu at a high-rate of speed when the sedan struck a light pole. The car flipped on its roof and caught fire. The vehicle was soon engulfed by flames.
Yvonne Quiroz, Ralph Quiroz's sister, and her father picked up personal belongings that were scattered across the scene of the deadly crash.
"Getting my brother's stuff, as you can see, off of the ground. Because I don't want nothing with his name on it or personal stuff, where people could grab it," Quiroz said.
The Quiroz family has deep roots in the city's South Chicago neighborhood. Ralph Quiroz was a father of six. His oldest child is 26. His youngest child is only 5.
"Just the other day, he lost his father in law. His wife just lost her father of cancer and now this? Now her husband? What more, you know? We lose three at one time in our family," Quiroz said.
Relatives said they believe Ralph Quiroz was dropping his cousins off at their nearby home when the crash occurred.
"Everybody in South Chicago that knew my brother, they know what kind of man he was, what kind of good friend. He's going to be very, gratefully missed," Quiroz said.
The Major Accidents Unit is handling the investigation.