NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. Five people killed in a fiery California crash that split a car in half were believed to be teenagers from the Irvine area, but the coroner was still trying to confirm the identity of one victim, authorities said Tuesday.
The names of the three females and two males killed in the Monday afternoon wreck were expected to be released later in the afternoon, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
The Infiniti sedan carrying the five people veered off a road around 5:20 p.m. and hit a tree, said Kathy Lowe, Newport Beach police spokeswoman. The impact split the car and it caught fire, she said.
"It was a horrific accident," Lowe said, adding that investigators were on scene for nearly 12 hours overnight. Speed was believed to be a factor in the wreck, she said.
The posted speed limit on Jamboree Road, a major, six-lane street in south Orange County, is 55 mph. Lowe declined to say how fast the Infiniti was going, citing the ongoing investigation.
Four people were thrown from the car and died immediately. A fifth was later declared dead at a hospital.
"It was one of the worst I've seen in my nearly 30 years," Newport Beach Fire Department Cpt. Glenn White said, according to CBS Los Angeles.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
There were no classes at the district's high schools Tuesday because of a teacher development day, said Ian Hanigan, a spokesman for Irvine Unified School District. The district was in touch with authorities and had no information that any of the victims were students, he said.
On Tuesday, news trucks clustered along the curb across from the accident scene as cars whizzed along the street fronted by gated communities and a major shopping and business complex. The only sign of the accident were the gouge marks and a large chuck of missing bark on a tree that was struck by the car when it sailed into the median.