DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Four Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton were killed in a violent crash early Saturday morning on the 5 Freeway in Downey, officials confirmed.
The single-car crash occurred shortly after 2:30 a.m. on the southbound side of the freeway, just west of the 605 Freeway, when a Dodge Charger slammed into a bridge abutment, according to the California Highway Patrol.
All four of the victims' names were not immediately released by the military.
Coroner's officials identified three of the four individuals as 26-year-old Daniel Nichols, 27-year-old Joshua Moore Jr. and 21-year-old Rodrigo Zermeno Gomez Jr.
The Marine Corps said Nichols and Gomez were assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Moore was assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
The fourth Marine has not been identified.
According to investigators, the car was moving at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control, causing the vehicle to slam into a guardrail and bridge abutment of the Lemoran Avenue pedestrian overcrossing. The car split in two upon impact and overturned.
Two passengers in the back seat were ejected onto the right shoulder of the roadway, and the rear portion of the vehicle came to rest about 100 feet south of the front end of the vehicle, according to the CHP.
The driver and front passenger were inside the car when it became engulfed in flames, the Highway Patrol said in a news release. Firefighters responded to the scene and quickly extinguished the fire.
"It is unknown if the force of the impact or the subsequent fire was the proximate cause of death," the statement said.
All four Marines were pronounced dead at the scene.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the CHP.