OCOTILLO, Calif. – A car trying to pass a group of motorcycles caused another car to lose control on a desert highway Saturday, triggering a crash that killed five people and injured six others, officials said.
Seven motorcyclists – members of a club celebrating its 10th anniversary – were ensnared in the collision on two-lane Route 98 near Ocotillo, a few miles north of the Mexico border and 80 miles east of San Diego.
Two men and two women motorcyclists died at the scene before paramedics arrived. One passenger from a car was also killed.
The crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m. as an eastbound gold Honda Accord went into the oncoming lane to pass about a dozen motorcycles. That maneuver forced a westbound Dodge Avenger sedan to swerve on to the sandy shoulder to avoid a head-on collision.
At that point the westbound car veered back across the road and into the cyclists.
The Honda making the pass that triggered the accident was not damaged and did not stop, and authorities were seeking it.