A teenage boy died and a young girl and a man suffered major injuries in a solo-car rollover crash on the 5 Freeway near Lebec late Friday, authorities said.
Another passenger in the car suffered minor injuries and a toddler in the car was unharmed in the crash, which took place about 5:45 p.m. on the northbound 5 Freeway, just north of Fort Tejon Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Karr said.
The car veered toward the left side of the road for unknown reasons, he said. It struck an asphalt curb, then veered toward the right shoulder where it went up a dirt embankment and overturned. The car ended up sitting on its roof in traffic lanes.
“At some point during this overturn, two parties were ejected,” the sergeant said. They were a boy of about 15 years old and a girl estimated to be 10 years old.
Paramedics pronounced the teenage boy dead at the scene, he said. The girl, as well as a man who was at the wheel of the car, were hospitalized with major injuries.
A 2-year-old child riding in the vehicle was unhurt, Karr said. Officials credited a properly installed and used child safety seat for sparing the child injury.
A fifth passenger in the vehicle was treated for injuries described as minor, Karr said. No description of that person was available.
The CHP briefly shut down all northbound lanes of the freeway as they landed a helicopter on the freeway to rush the victims to hospitals, Karr said.
It was not clear whether the two children who were thrown from the car were wearing seat belts, he said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but intoxicated driving was not initially suspected.