4 dead, 3 injured in early morning car crash in Pomona

The coroner's office on Sunday identified the four people who were killed when their SUV overturned near a freeway off-ramp in Pomona.

The fatalities were identified as Lake Elsinore residents Elba Rosales, 26; Luis Herrera, 29; Noemi Herrera, 21 and Gerardo Herrera, 49, according to investigator Rudy Molano of the coroner's office.

Molano could not immediately confirm that the victims were related to one another.

Elena Chavez-Lopez, the 25-year-old Lake Elsinore resident who drove the 2003 Ford Explorer, told authorities that a white newer-model vehicle struck the left side of her vehicle a little after 5 a.m. Saturday, while it was going eastbound on the 60 Freeway, west of Reservoir Street, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Chavez-Lopez, who suffered major injuries, immediately lost control of the SUV, as it veered sharply to the right. The SUV then overturned in the No. 4 lane of the freeway and on the right shoulder area, the CHP reported.

"The vehicle continued to overturn multiple times down a dirt embankment, across the Reservoir Street off-ramp, down a second dirt embankment and finally came to rest against the chain-link perimeter fence," the CHP

There were eight occupants inside the 2003 Ford Explorer, which only seats seven.

Six of the eight occupants in the SUV were ejected onto the dirt embankment and near the Reservoir Avenue off--ramp. Four were pronounced dead at the scene and the four other occupants suffered moderate to major injuries.

Paramedics rushed three victims to Arrowhead Regional Hospital in Colton and another to UC Irvine Medical Center.

"It is suspected that six of the eight occupants were not wearing seat belts," the CHP reported. "Of those six occupants, three of them sustained the fatal injuries."

The CHP's Baldwin Park office asked anyone who saw the crash to call them at (626) 338-1164.

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