A fiery crash involving a taxi cab left two passengers dead Monday.
The cab was driving down the Mariposa Street off-ramp of 280 in San Francisco when something went horribly wrong just before 11 a.m.
The taxi smashed into a support beam of Highway 280 and caught fire, according to witnesses.
The couple in the cab had just arrived from Ohio and was on their way to the Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco.
The wife died at the scene of the crash. Her husband died a few hours later at a hospital.
The driver told police his brakes failed, CHP Officer Shawn Chase said. He was also seriously injured in the crash.
Three sheriff's deputies, who were nearby when the crash happened, managed to pull the passengers out of the burning cab. The driver was able to get himself out.
The sheriffs were driving north on 280 in an inmate transport bus and a sheriff's van when they saw smoke coming from the cab on the highway and watched as the taxi exited and crashed. They immediately headed toward the crash site to assist. Their effort was being called heroic.
The three male deputies have been identified as: Z. Ralleta, with the department since March 2007; R. Rood, with the department since September 1998; and C. Sheriff, with the department since August 2001.
The heroes of this story also suffered burns from their rescue effort that put them in the hospital.
The taxi was a Desoto cab registered in San Francisco
Bay City News contributed to this report.