A man and woman were killed in a traffic accident Thursday after the front wheel of the car they were riding in became loose, causing the driver to lose control and collide with another car, authorities said.
The two were riding in a Chrysler LeBaron east on Avenue P, just west of Division Street, about 5:15 p.m. when the front wheel bearing froze, causing the wheel to revolve erratically, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Rice. The driver lost control and drifted into the westbound lanes where the Chrysler was broadsided by a Ford Tempo, Rice said.
The passenger in the Chrysler, a 43-year-old Quartz Hill man, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Chrysler, a 34-year-old woman from Quartz Hill, died at Antelope Valley Hospital about 5:50 p.m, Rice said.
The relationship between the driver and passenger was not known. Their names were not released pending notification of relatives. Rice said a preliminary investigation points to the frozen bearing as the cause of the crash. It was not known if the faulty bearing was caused by neglect or by a mechanical defect, he said.
The driver of the Ford, Velma Morales, 27, of Palmdale, was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition, Rice said.