Three of the four victims killed in a fiery single-car crash early Saturday morning on the 5 Freeway in Downey have been identified as United States Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton.
According to a release from the California Highway Patrol, the single-vehicle crash involving a 2018 Dodge Charger happened around 2:30 a.m. on the southbound span of the 5 Freeway south of Lakewood Boulevard.
CHP confirmed that the vehicle was on fire when they arrived and that all four occupants of the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene.
“Preliminary information indicates that the driver lost control of the vehicle at a high rate of speed causing the vehicle to collide with a guardrail and the bridge abutment of the Lemoran Avenue pedestrian overcrossing,” CHP said in a statement. “The force of the impact caused the vehicle to split in two, subsequently ejecting the two rear passengers onto the right shoulder.”
The rear end of the car was found approximately 100 feet south of the front end, authorities said.
“The driver and front passenger remained inside the front portion of the vehicle which became fully engulfed in flames against the sound barrier wall,” CHP said.
On Monday, military officials confirmed that three of the victims were active-duty Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. Records from the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner identified the victims as 26-year-old Daniel Nichols, 27-year-old Joshua Leandra Moore, Jr. and 21-year-old Rodrigo Zermeno Gomez.
“The accident is currently under investigation,” 1st Lt. Sean Waterman told KTLA in an email.
The fourth victim, who was later identified as an active duty Marine, was 24-year-old Jose Martinez.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact the Santa Fe Springs CHP Area Office at 562-868-0503.