Several Students Die in SoCal Crash

Four students from the Center for English Studies in San Francisco died Thursday night in a fiery crash on Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Another student from the Ballet Lines Ballet School also died in the same crash. There was an additional victim in the crash. Authorities have not identified that person.

The 19-year-old driver, Jeanne Ostrowski of San Francisco, is the only one who survived. She was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon.

The dead passengers include a 30-year-old man, two 25-year-old women, two 20-year-old women, and an 18-year-old woman. The identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, according to the Santa Barbara County coroner's bureau.

A spokeswoman from the English school said they only knew that a group of its students were involved in an accident, but did not know their condition or their names. The person who picked up the phone at the Ballet school said they had no comment.

The group was in a Toyota Land Cruiser driving along Highway 101 near Los Alamos. The accident happened around 6:30 p.m.

San Luis Obipso television station KSBY-TV reported flames and smoke filled the sky following the crash.


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The SUV was the only vehicle involved.

A photographer from KSBY-TV television arrived on the crash scene before emergency crews were able to get there.

"A witness saw the vehicle enter the median, and from the position of the headlights and taillights he assumed in was sideways. Then he saw it come out across the road toward the west. It rolled over and the roof of the vehicle hit a tree on the right shoulder, the vehicle immediately caught on fire," Mike Clare from the California Highway Patrol said.

One person said he was driving behind the SUV and said it veered off the freeway and then seemed to over correct which caused the SUV to hit the median. After that the vehicle zoomed back across the lanes and was only stopped after crashing into a tree.

The driver was pulled from the car before it caught fire, but the others were trapped inside. Two more victims were ejected and died outside the car.

According to the CHP, alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. Police also could not confirm if all the people in the SUV were wearting their seat belts.

An investigation is being conducted by the CHP Coastal Division Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team based in San Luis Obispo.

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