Four people were killed Friday morning in a pre-dawn freeway crash on the connector between Interstate 10 and Interstate 215 near San Bernardino. All of the victims were in their early 20s.
• A 21-year-old driver lost control of his BMW on I-10.
• The car spun out, skidded across the freeway, hit a raised curb, and flipped over onto its roof.
• The BMW continued to skid on its roof until it slammed into a freeway sign pole.
• The driver and his three passengers — all in their early 20s — were killed.
Police said 21-year-old Matthew Austin Hanson was driving a 1999 BMW in the fast lane at an excessive rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle. California Highway Patrol investigators believe the BMW veered to the left and Hanson jerked the steering wheel turned to the right to try to correct it, causing the car to go into a spin.
The BMW spun clockwise and skidded across all of the traffic lanes and onto the right shoulder, where it hit a raised curb at the end of the connector ramp, flipped over, and landed on its roof, CHP investigators said. The car continued to skid on its roof until it slammed into a freeway sign pole near Colton.
“It was almost sheared in half, wrapped around the pole,” CHP officer Steven Robinson said.
Hanson and all three of his passengers died in the accident. Officials identified the passengers as 24-year-old Hector Naranjo, 20-year-old Bridgette Rodriguez and 21-year-old Tyronne Keivon Smith. All of them were from San Bernardino.
“Only the driver was wearing a seat belt,” Robinson said. “I can’t say whether the seat belts would have saved [the others]. The sheer impact on the roof was a factor in the fatalities.”
Investigators were trying to find out where the victims were coming from or where they were going, in order to try to determine exactly what happened.
“Officers will be checking on what they were doing for the last 24 hours,” Robinson said. “In any fatal collisions we like to know as much as possible … to give us an idea what caused the accident.”
Investigators did not say whether they suspected that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.
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