A California man who struck five girls with his pickup truck -- killing one -- claims he didn't know what caused the crash and has apologized to the victims, Fox40.com reports.

Larry Duke, 45, struck Danielle Leon and four other girls early Wednesday at Darwin Avenue and Fowler Road in Ceres, Calif. He denies earlier reports that he had been on the phone and wore earphones at the time of the fatal wreck.

"I'm so sorry this happened," Duke told the website. "I know it's harder for you guys to sit there and accept anything I'm saying. But I am so sorry it happened. I didn't mean for it to happen."

Leon's cousin, Alexis Leon, disputes that claim, however, saying Duke was indeed using his phone during the crash.

"He didn't stop," she said. "He just passed us up."

Duke, an unemployed truck driver, according to reports, says he may have feel asleep at the wheel.

"It was just an accident," he said. "I'm sorry."

Click here for more on this report from Fox40.com.