4 dead in California crash, driver arrested

Four people, including three teenagers, died Tuesday night when the driver of the car they were in veered off a road in Northern California, hit a drainage ditch and flipped over, authorities said.

The driver, 23-year-old Anthony Imbronone III, was arrested at the scene of the accident in Gilry, but then was released to the hospital, said California Highway Patrol officer Herb Kellogg. Imbronone was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The man suffered major injuries but was expected to survive.

The crash occurred around 10:30 p.m. at an area where the road turns to the right. The car hit a concrete drainage ditch before flipping over and going down an embankment.

Rescue workers had to cut the car’s rook off, Kellog said. The four passengers, three 18-year-old women and a 24-year-old man, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Kellogg said investigators were looking into where they were coming from and how they knew one another.

The teens were identified as Sara Jean Williams, Yesenia Mendoza Pina and Yolanda Jimenez, according to Gilroy school district officials. Williams was a senior at Christopher High School. The other two were students at Mount Madonna High School. The 24-year-old man was not immediately identified, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Three of the passengers and the driver were wearing seat belts, KTVU-TV reported.

California Highway Patrol Officer Justin Maier told the station that did not help in this case because the roof was smashed as the car flipped.

"It crushed the roof down on the rest of the people inside," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report