The California Highway Patrol said the 29-year-old woman was driving a sport utility vehicle that collided with another car at an intersection in Riverdale about 7 p.m. PST, the Los Angeles Times reported. The woman's husband was traveling behind in another car and tried to rescue his family without success, the newspaper said.
The names of the woman and children -- boys ages 1 and 3, and girls ages 6 and 11 -- had not been released.
The husband suffered burns and the driver of the other car involved in the crash, Juana Martinez Bejarano, 41, was taken to a hospital with injuries.
Police said there was no evidence drugs or alcohol were involved, the Times said.