Four Bakersfield men died after their vehicle hit a 2013 Freightliner head-on while trying to pass another car about 15 miles south of Porterville on Friday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol said.
A black 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was traveling south on Highway 65 south of Avenue 32 about 4:35 p.m. when the 27-year-old driver tried to pass the vehicle in front. The driver pulled into the path of a truck carrying Home Goods items that was driving north, hitting it head-on and causing the truck to swerve off into an embankment, the CHP said.
The three passengers in the Monte Carlo, ages 21, 28 and 40, were trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene; the driver was airlifted to Kaweah Delta Medical Center and later died, the CHP said. The truck driver, Gerald Ball, 59, of Anaheim, suffered only minor injuries.
The crash closed Highway 65 between Highway 155 and Kern County and Road 56 near Ducor in Tulare County, the CHP said.
The CHP said the identities are not being released pending notification of their families.