California Highway Patrol officers say they're still looking for the driver of the gold colored Honda Accord that caused the accident that killed four motorcyclists and a passenger in an auto earlier today. (Sunday)
Four of the dead belonged to a motorcycle club called the Saddle Tramps, based in Lakeside in northeast San Diego County, CHP Officer DeeAnn Goudie said. The accident occured while the club was celebrating its 10th anniversary Saturday with a ride across the desert, she said.
Goudie said at least 12 members of the motorcycle club met around 9 a.m. for breakfast in Lakeside before hitting the road. About 12:50 p.m. they were riding east on California 98 near Ocotillo, about 80 miles from San Diego, when the Honda pulled up behind the motorcyclists and passed them in the oncoming lane.
At the same time, a white Dodge Avenger heading toward the motorcyclists swerved to avoid the oncoming Honda. Goudie said the driver lost control and crashed into six motorcyclists, killing four of them. Authorities say the Honda driver caused the crash and continuing heading east.
Among those killed were a husband and wife riding the same bike, Goudie said. The names of the dead were not released Sunday pending notification of their relatives.
The CHP identified the driver of the Dodge as Carlos Ramirez Bobadilla, 36, of Mexicali, Mexico. His wife was among those killed.
The injured were airlifted or taken by ambulance to UC San Diego Medical Center and the El Centro Regional Medical Center, according to Goudie.
Those hospitalized were Wilson Trayer, 39, of Lakeside, Kelly Halley, 42, of Santee; William Barnes, 57, and Melanie Barnes, 46, both of San Diego. A fifth survivor, John Lombardo, 55, was released from El Centro Medical Center on Sunday afternoon.