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ABC7 Traffic Center

Pomona Fwy crash kills 4 in church group

Friday, April 11, 2008

Four people were killed, one other critically injured, in this crash on the 60 Freeway. Police say the driver was going very fast and lost control.

Investigators say the car was part of a caravan on a church outing, and that it may have fallen behind the others and was trying to catch up when it crashed on the eastbound 60 Freeway in Pomona.

Click here to check LIVE traffic on the 60 Freeway in Pomona, or click here for a slideshow of the scene.

The occupants of the Toyota Camry were: Richard (Mun Chul) Kim, 21; Kevin (Kwang Min) Na, 19; Daniel (Dong Eun) Kim, 18; David (Yong Hyuk) Chung, 16; and Stanley (Sung Bin) Na, 16, who remained in critical condition Friday night.

The CHP officer who was the first person to arrive on the scene said it was one of the worst traffic wrecks he's ever seen. He said the driver of a green Toyota Camry was perhaps driving just too fast when he lost control and flipped over. Five people were inside that vehicle. Four of them have died.

What started out as a church youth outing to a local ice rink ended in tragedy. Friends of the victims were devastated after they were told what happened.

According to the CHP, more than a dozen people were a part of the caravan. One of them told officers the driver of the green Camry, part of their group, was just trying to catch up to them. He lost control and flipped the car.

At the accident scene on the eastbound 60 Freeway at Reservoir, the green Camry was a mangled mess.

"I saw the Camry right here hit the center divider," said witness Randy Soltela. "Then it came up and it hit the pole. As soon as the vehicle hit the pole, two people were ejected and thrown to the other side of the freeway."

Randy Soltela said he was driving home to Azusa when he saw what happened. He stopped, got out, and tried to help.

"When I came up, I saw the deceased right here," said Soltela. "There was another man down, had a gash in his head. We got a blanket, we covered him up. We just let him know to stay down, that an ambulance was on the way. Worst accident I've ever seen in my life."

The CHP worked for hours carefully examining the wreck, trying to figure out what went wrong.

"Some said racing, some said speeding," said Joe Zizi, CHP Public Information Officer. "The Highway Patrol doesn't make any conclusions at this point. It's still under investigation, but we definitely will look at all these witness statements and try to put them together to piece what happened here."

"This is one of the worst," said CHP Officer Gregory Reed. "Coming up upon it without any warning whatsoever, just basically getting ready to turn around, and go back the opposite way on the freeway, and all the sudden you see bodies on the freeway. It's tragic."

Traffic has cleared up on the 60 Freeway since then. Smooth sailing in both directions compared to earlier Friday afternoon. It took about four hours for authorities to clear the scene.

 

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