The death toll from a two-vehicle crash in Hesperia rose to five people Sunday afternoon when workers prying apart the vehicles discovered the body of a child had been hidden in the wreckage.
Two adults and three children were killed after a van veered into oncoming traffic lnes and landed atop a Honda sedan, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. At 6:55 a.m. Sunday, firefighters and sheriff's deputies responded to the collision at Main Street and Balsam Avenue.
The driver of the van was traveling east on Main Street and, for an unknown reason, crossed into the westbound lanes, authorities said. The van collided with and landed on top of the car, which was stopped at a stop sign.
An adult male and juvenile male from the Honda were taken to nearby hospitals where they were pronounced dead, according to the sheriff's department. An adult female and juvenile female were pronounced dead at the scene and were trapped inside the car.
About 1:30 p.m., emergency and heavy equipment tow-truck personnel removed the van from the Honda. The body of the third child was discovered after the van was removed.
"Due to the extreme structural damage, the victim was concealed and could not be accessed/seen by emergency personnel," the sheriff's department said in a statement.
The van was occupied only by a male driver, who had minor injuries and was treated at the scene. No arrests have been made.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the sheriff's department's Hesperia station, which is seeking information from witnesses.
The names of the deceased were not yet being released, pending identification and notification of their next of kin, said Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.