Sailors among 3 motorcyclists killed in crash on 5 Freeway near Oceanside, Navy spokesperson says

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KABC) – Two of the three motorcyclists killed in a violent pileup crash early Thursday on the 5 Freeway near Camp Pendleton were sailors, a U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed.

The crash was reported shortly after 3 a.m. near the Las Pulgas Road onramp, about 10 miles north of Oceanside, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log.

U.S. Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke told KGTV that two of the three men who died were sailors and were stationed in the San Diego-area, but their identities were not released.

Five other people were also injured in the crash.

Four motorcycles and two cars were involved in the collision, which began when a Jeep that was traveling southbound veered off the freeway, struck a guardrail and became disabled, CHP said.

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van struck the Jeep and also became disabled. Four motorcyclists who were riding in tandem collided with the Jeep and van, and the motorcycles caught fire, the Highway Patrol said.

The CHP shut down the southbound side of the freeway as the investigation and cleanup operation got underway. The closure resulted in a traffic backup that stretched past San Onofre.

At least two southbound lanes reopened around 9:30 a.m., and the rest were open a short time after, according to the CHP.

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