ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) —Authorities say five young men died after a rollover accident in the city of Ontario.
The early morning accident on Haven Avenue just south of Creekside Drive was reported at 1:41 a.m. Sunday.
A news release by the Ontario Fire Department said first responders arrived on scene about 1:48 a.m. and found a 2005 Nissan Sentra rolled over in the backyard of a home.
The statement said one person was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead, while four others died at the scene.
“The driver of the vehicle was 21 years old and the other four occupants ranged in age from 20 to 23 years old,” Ontario police Cpl. Bill Russell told KNX1070’s Ed Mertz.
“We do know that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and did run a traffic signal just prior to colliding,” Russell said.
Russell says the driver lost control and almost hit another vehicle at the intersection. The car crashed through a cement pillar which held up a wooden fence, and then rolled over into the backyard of a home.
No one inside the house was hurt.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.
“At this point we do suspect alcohol played a role. We are not certain of the sobriety of the individuals yet,” Russell added.
Jeff Nguyen, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, spoke to Rowley Barre, a witness to the crash.
Barre told him that the Sentra “ran a red light. Then he swerved and crashed. The car is flipping over and they hit a brick wall.”
In a separate car, Barre was returning from a party also attended by the five friends in the Sentra.
He says that driver was going as fast as 75 mph on surface streets. His friends flipped over “like five times.”
Nguyen reports, one of the victims was Barre’s cousin, 23-year old Marquell Bogan. Known as Q to friends and family – Bogan was 6 feet 1 inches tall and 275 pounds.
Despite his stature – his brother Michael Baker said he was a gentle giant.
The other victims were 23-year old JuJuan Bennett, 21-year-old Ervin McKinness, 20-year-old Dylan George of Ontario. The driver was 21-year-old Jonathan Watson.
The car came to a stop in the backyard of the Gonzalez family. The car stopped approximately 4 feet away from the son of the homeowner’s bedroom wall.
Barre confirms Watson had been drinking before the crash.
Despite that — Marquell Bogan’s family says they don’t resent the driver and they hope this will serve as a reminder to all young people – that one decision can affect 5 families.