The three people killed and five others injured in a single-car crash in northern San Diego County late Thursday were from Japan and studying at Palomar College in San Marcos, officials said. All were ages 18 to 22.
The group of eight were in a 2000 Honda Prelude that, for unknown reasons, veered off California 78 near Oceanside at about 11 p.m., went down an embankment and hit a power pole, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The 19-year-old driver, a male passenger and a female passenger were killed, the CHP said.
Five passengers with "moderate to major" injuries were taken to local hospitals. Their identities were not immediately released.
It is unknown whether drugs or alcohol were involved, the CHP said. Investigators said they were trying to determine how fast the car was traveling and how the driver may have lost control.
The fall semester at Palomar College began Monday. The eight students had only recently arrived as part of the college's international program, officials said.
"I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of these students," said Palomar superintendent/president Robert Deegan.
The college is offering counseling service to students, faculty and staff affected by the tragedy, he said.