According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the accident happened around 1:30 p.m. on Coast Highway and Beach Road. Authorities say four cars were involved, including a white Volkswagen Jetta, a Mini Cooper with a 15-year-old student driver and instructor inside, a Honda Civic and a passenger van.
The Orange County Major Accident Reconstruction Team is on scene investigating exactly how the collision happened. According to Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock, initial findings indicate the Volkswagen and the student driver were travelling northbound on Coast Highway, and the van and Honda were travelling southbound. Hallock says the Volkswagen may have tried to pass the Mini Cooper.
"It appears initially that the Volkswagen attempted some type of passing movement, and then shortly after that the collision occurred," said Hallock.
The Jetta split in half, killing a 43-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman inside. The couple in the Jetta had a car seat in the vehicle, but a 10-month-old child was not with them at the time of the accident. Authorities said the child was with his or her grandmother.
The van flipped on its side, leaving a man and a woman injured. One woman in the Honda was also hurt. All survivors have moderate injuries that are not life-threatening. They are being treated at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. The student driver and instructor were not injured. The student driver was released to his parents at the scene.
Investigators say there is no passing on the stretch of Coast Highway where the accident occurred. A double yellow line is there, indicating one lane in each direction. It is unclear how fast the vehicles were going at the time of the accident.
Coast Highway was closed in both directions between Camino Capistrano and Beach Road. It has since reopened.