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Three killed, two injured in crash returning from church

August 9, 2011 |  7:49 am

Bp Three members of a family returning from a church service at the Crystal Cathedral were killed and two other women were hospitalized Monday night after their SUV rolled over and caught fire exiting the 5 Freeway in Buena Park, authorities said.

A Ford Excursion carrying four women and a 16-year-old girl from Downey was traveling northbound on the 5 Freeway when the driver lost control exiting on the Beach Boulevard offramp, rolled across a median and another ramp before coming to rest on an empty lot about 10:17 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Gabe Montoya said.

Four passengers were thrown from the SUV before it caught fire. The driver, a 41-year-year-old woman, was rescued from the burning vehicle by a bystander, Montoya said.

Three passengers, women ages 24, 30 and 49, were pronounced dead at the scene. The 16-year-old girl and the driver were taken to UCI Medical Center. Their identities have not been released.

The CHP is investigating whether speed and the sharp turn angle of the offramp played a role in the crash. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

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-- Tony Barboza

Image: Map shows location of where three passengers died in a fiery crash in Buena Park. Source: Google Maps

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