The Saturday morning accident that killed four men on Highway 58 west of Fairfax Road was caused when the driver of a speeding van lost control as he changed lanes, crossed the median and crashed into a pickup pulling a gardening trailer.
The California Highway Patrol said James Luschen, 40, of North Las Vegas, Nev. lost control of his 2006 Chevrolet Express van about 7:40 a.m. The CHP said the van crashed into a 1997 Chevrolet 3500 pickup driven by Jhonadan Diaz Inga, 22, of Bakersfield, in the eastbound lanes.
The van struck the left side of the truck, rolled over the the cab portion and ejected Luschen before landing on the embankment south of the highway.
Luschen was pronounced dead at the scene.
Inga, along with and two passengers in the truck cab -- Marino Tacza Inga, 20, and William Bernardo-Zapaico, 27, both of Boise, Idaho -- also were killed.
The cab of the gardening truck was crushed. The roof had to be cut off in order to retrieve the bodies. Debris was scattered across the highway.
It was unclear Sunday whether any of the victims was wearing seatbelts because the destruction was so devastating, said CHP Sgt. Daniel Webb of the Bakersfield office.
"I do know the impact -- there was a lot of force exchanged," Webb said.
Webb said a witness driving westbound in the No. 3, or far left, lane told the CHP that the white van approached rapidly from behind in the No. 2 lane. The witness said after he moved into the No. 2 lane, the van moved back to the left. That's when the driver apparently lost control.
Webb was unable to estimate the van's speed. He said there were no traffic impediments at the time of the accident.
Luschen, owner of C & L Services, provided office furniture installation, special event services and office relocations to accounts in Nevada, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and California.
According to Webb, Luschen was headed Saturday to Sacramento.
A person answering the phone Sunday at the company's North Las Vegas office declined to say why Luschen was in California.