EL CENTRO, Calif. - Four people were sent to the hospital following a two-vehicle collision on Interstate 8 west of Silsbee Road on Saturday around 11:57 a.m.
According to officials 69-year-old Bette Van Der Linden, of Holtville, was driving a 2015 Lexus westbound on Interstate 8 at 70 to 75 MPH in the left lane. Officials say 23-year-old Cijia Ding, of Tempe, Ariz., was driving her 2014 Porsche on Interstate 8 westbound in the left lane at a speed greater than 75 MPH. The other two occupants in the Porsche were 46-year-old Yaqing Ye and 49-year-old Baijian Ding, both from Malaysia.
As Ding approached the rear of the Lexus, Van Der Linden saw the Porsche approaching her vehicle and moved into the fast lane.
After the Porsche had passed, Van Der Linden saw a second vehicle ahead of her in the slow lane and made a passing maneuver back into the fast lane.
For an unknown reason, authorities believe that the Porsche slowed down to an approximate speed of 50 MPH in the fast lane as Van Der Linden changed lanes. Due to its proximity, the front of the Lexus struck the rear of the Porsche. The impact caused the Lexus to travel out of control into the center divide next to the fast lane.
The Porsche traveled out of control onto the right shoulder near the slow lane and caught fire at the entrance to the Jaime Obeso Sunbeam rest area.
The occupants of the Porsche were able to exit the vehicle without being burned.
Van Der Linden remained secure in the Lexus until medics arrived.
All westbound traffic was stopped for some time until law enforcement and fire crews assisted the injured victims. All parties involved were transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center for the care of their injuries.
Drugs and alcohol was determined to not be a factor in the collision and all parties were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.