Sheriff: 4 die in fiery crash near Phoenix

An SUV slammed into the rear of a sedan and the car burst into flames, killing four people Saturday on Phoenix's western outskirts, authorities said.

The sedan's driver and three passengers were trapped by the crash on a county road near the town of Buckeye as their vehicle became engulfed in flames, said officer Chris Hegstrom, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff Office.

He said that the four were killed and the driver of the SUV was rushed to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The car was stopped on Maricopa County Road 85, possibly preparing to turn off the roadway, when the crash occurred about 3 p.m., he said.

"Car No. 1 stopped heading eastbound, (and) an eastbound SUV did not see the stopped car; collided with the back end of car No. 1," Hegstrom said.

Motorist Tom Wheeler told Fox 10 News that he was driving home from work when he saw the fire consume the small car.

"People were throwing water and dirt under the car to get the fire out and it didn't help," he said.

Hegstrom said authorities were investigating various elements of the accident, including if excess speed played any role.

News footage of the aftermath showed the passenger car with its rear end crushed and the SUV with damage to its front end.