Four people died and five others were injured when two cars collided on a desert highway early Saturday morning, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The 6:45 a.m. accident occurred on Interstate 15, the route linking Southern California to Las Vegas. The collision occurred halfway between the Mojave Desert cities of Barstow and Victorville, about 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Among the dead were Ethel Masterson, 63, her husband, Bernard, and Myrtle L. Viau, 75, all of Pawtucket, R.I. They were passengers in a car that lost control and veered into oncoming lanes, authorities said.
The driver, a 41-year-old resident of Midway City, also was killed. His name was withheld pending notification of relatives.
The five injured motorists suffered minor to moderate injuries and were taken to area hospitals, CHP Officer Craig Bostick said. All were occupants of the second vehicle, which broadsided the errant car, one investigator said.
Two of the injured, whose names were not released, were in stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Victorville, according to a nursing supervisor.
Bostick said authorities are still investigating the accident.
The crash caused southbound traffic to be routed onto the freeway's shoulder for several hours.