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Two teens were killed and three of their classmates suffered critical injuries Tuesday night when a dump truck rolled down an embankment and crushed their vehicle in the Cajon Pass.
A friend of the victims told NBC4 one of the deceased victims just finished his sophomore year and another had just graduated from Serrano High School in the San Bernardino County community of Phelan. Two of the hospitalized victims recently graduated and a third was about to be a junior at the high school, the friend said.
The construction dump truck was exiting the southbound 15 Freeway when its brakes failed to stop the vehicle on the off-ramp of the Highway 138 exit around 11:40 p.m. The truck crossed the street, hit a PT Cruiser that was traveling westbound on Highway 138, carried the car down an embankment and eventually landed on top of it, crushing the PT Cruiser in the parking lot of a Shell gas station and Subway restaurant
Firefighters spent around two hours extricating the critcally injured patients, officials said. According to the San Bernardino Fire Department, firefighters used two heavy-lift tow vehicles to stabilize and lift the dump truck off of the vehicle before using the jaws of life to complete the extrication.
One man and one woman were killed. The three people that were critically injured have been identified as men.
A surgical team was at the scene, as they sometimes have to work on the patient as they are being extricated, according to Tracy Martinez of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
The dump truck was described as “one of those real big ones” filled with wet cement. According to Martinez, the freeway exit is a small off-ramp that curves.
The female driver of the truck was uninjured.