updated 1/5/2006 3:04:04 AM ET 2006-01-05T08:04:04

Two military vehicles carrying Marines to the Miramar air base crashed Wednesday night, killing two Marines who were ejected over the side of a freeway and injuring two others, authorities said.

The fatally injured men, ages 22 and 20, were ejected more than 70 feet over the side of the southbound Interstate 15 freeway at 7:20 p.m., Officer Mark Gregg, a California Highway Patrol spokesman, said at the scene.

The two injured Marines were transported to a nearby hospital, said Maurice Luque, a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. They were listed in fair condition at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, nursing supervisor Lorie Vermaire said.

One vehicle was ferrying eight Marines and towing the second vehicle without personnel when they crossed a bridge in Rancho Bernardo, a hilly suburb about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego and several miles east of Miramar.

The towed vehicle somehow swung around in front of the first and both careened into a guard rail, coming to rest on the edge of a bridge spanning a canyon, authorities said.

Nearly 25 firefighters and other rescuers aided by fire engines and a helicopter responded to the scene of the accident in the city’s northern Rancho Bernardo area, Luque said. The injured were riding in a light armored vehicle towing the second.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation.

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