San Diego

4 Passengers Ejected in Fiery Crash Expected to Survive: ECPD

Four passengers thrown from a van in a fiery rollover crash in El Cajon Monday night are expected to survive their injuries, the El Cajon Police Department said Tuesday.

The people involved, two 24-year-old men, a 22-year-old woman and a 15-year-old, were found by first responders unconscious and lying in the middle of Avocado Avenue, south of Chase Avenue, just after 9 p.m. Monday. 

Their van, a 2008 Toyota mini-van, was crashed into a wooden utility pole and both were on fire, the El Cajon Police Department said. 

Witnesses told investigators the vehicle was speeding northbound on Avocado Avenue when the driver lost control on a curve in the road, ECPD said. The roadway's speed limit is 45 miles per hour. 

According to ECPD, The van crashed into a rock embankment and flipped several times before being overtaken by flames, according to CHP. Heartland Fire Department crews quickly poured water on the fire upon arrival.

The passengers were seriously injured and were rushed to area trauma centers, some with life-threatening injuries, the El Cajon Police Department said.

Investigators at first believed the passengers may have been a group of young men or teenagers. 

ECPD Lt. Stephen Kirk said they were all expected to survive, though all but one remained sedated Monday afternoon.  

The alert passenger, one of the men, was able to tell police that one of the victims was his brother but no other info was gathered, Kirk said. 

It was still not clear what caused the driver to lose control or exactly who was driving at the time of the crash. Investigators were still working to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved. 

The fire charred the vehicle so badly that investigators initially had trouble identifying its make and model, police said.

ECPD shut down Avocado Avenue from E. Chase Avenue to Skywood Drive overnight due to the crash. The next morning, the roadway was still shut down for the investigation but was reopened shortly before 7 a.m.

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