Image: Scene of fatal car crash in Pomona, Calif.
David Pardo  /  AP
The wreck of a Toyota Camry which crashed into a freeway divider in Pomona, Calif., on Friday. Four members of a church youth group died in the collision.
updated 4/12/2008 5:04:49 AM ET 2008-04-12T09:04:49

Four young members of a church group died following a car crash on Friday.

A fifth victim was hospitalized in critical condition following the single-vehicle collision on a Los Angeles-area freeway.

Police said the victims were in a car that was apparently speeding to catch up with three other vehicles that were taking a youth group to an ice-skating rink.

The 1994 Toyota Camry went out of control at about 10:45 a.m. The car struck the center divider on the Pomona Freeway, east of Los Angeles, and rolled over.

Three occupants were hurled from the mangled vehicle, with one landing in opposing traffic. Two died at the scene. Two died later at hospital.

The car was one of four occupied by members of a youth group from Walnut Blessing Church of the Nazarene, authorities said. The five males in the vehicle were aged between 17 and 21.

'Wave of shock'
Church co-pastor Peter Lundell told KCAL-TV that his congregation was in shock.

"Pretty much everybody got cried out over several hours, and then we heard news that one of those who was taken to a hospital later died, and that sent everybody into another wave of shock," Lundell said. "At this point it just seems like there's no tears left and people can't even talk."

Lundell said at least two of the young men in the car were brothers, all were high school and college students, and a college student was driving.

The freeway was closed in both directions for hours, causing huge backups of cars and trucks in the region 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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