Cross-Country Team in Deadly California Car Crash

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A head-on collision between a van and an SUV on a road in a Southern California left three people dead and 15 others injured. The injured are student-athletes who were on their way to a training camp in the mountains.

13 people were in the van, including the driver and 12 members of the cross-country running team from California Baptist University in Riverside. The SUV went over the center divider and into oncoming traffic, slamming into the van Monday night.

The driver of the van, 35-year-old Wendy Rice, who was a cheerleading coach at the school, was killed. Two young women in the SUV also died. 12 people in the van suffered various injuries, as did three people in the SUV.

In a strange coincidence, it appears the people in the SUV were also members of a cross-country team, from a San Diego-area school. Police suspect that because running gear was found in the SUV.

The van was one of three vehicles taking 45 students to a high-altitude training facility in the Mammoth Mountains. But since there are only two cross-country coaches, Rice volunteered to drive the third van -- a fatal decision, as it turned out.