The tow truck struck two power poles and temporarily knocked out electricity in parts of the city. Witnesses told police they heard a sickening crash. “I was getting ready to eat my dinner, and bang! I heard a big explosion,” said Tom Ybarra, 79, a City Council member who lives nearby. “There were people laying down on the street. There were three dead people. All the lights went out.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Bermudez was released earlier Thursday from Salinas Valley State Prison, where he had served 12 months for a parole violation involving a previous rape conviction, Rodino said. Police allege he stole the tow truck at a repair shop in Huntington Park and then sped through the streets of Vernon, a small industrial community south of Los Angeles. Several vehicles were struck at one location, but no one was hurt. Moments later, the tow truck barreled into the bus stop as the driver tried to get around an idling bus, police said. The couple killed had children ranging in age from 8 to 18. The single mother had a 13-year-old child. Their identities were withheld pending notification of family members. Eight other people were injured, including a 20-year-old man who was in grave condition. Two other men, ages 52 and 29, were in critical condition, and a 47-year-old woman was in serious condition, said hospital spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda. The conditions of the other four victims weren’t immediately available. A man who killed a single mother and a couple with seven children when he crashed a stolen tow truck into a bus stop had been released from prison hours earlier, police said Friday. Police were investigating the cause of Thursday’s crash. The driver, Raymond Bermudez, 29, was taken into custody and treated for undisclosed injuries, police said. Homicide charges were expected to be sought, Vernon police Lt. James Rodino said. Toxicology tests were planned to determine whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.