2-vehicle accident in Long Beach injures 9

Nine people were injured Thursday night in Long Beach when two sport utility vehicles collided.

Nine people were hospitalized today, five of them in critical condition, after two sport utility vehicles collided on the southbound Long Beach (710) freeway in Long Beach and one of them rolled several times, authorities said.

All nine victims, including two children four or five years old, were in the vehicle that overturned when it collided with a larger SUV near the junction with the Artesia (91) Freeway around 7 p.m. Thursday, said Capt.
Jackawa Jackson, a Long Beach Fire Department spokesman. The larger vehicle's two occupants were not injured, he said.

Four of the five adults in the medium-size SUV were ejected, he said, adding that of the vehicle's nine occupants, five were critically injured and four suffered moderate injuries.

An investigation was under way to determine what triggered the crash, Jackson said.

"It is unknown at this time if passengers were wearing seatbelts," he said.

The captain of the first Fire Department vehicle on the scene, "realizing there were a large number of patients involved, declared a multiple-casualty incident and called for additional resources,'' Jackson said.

Ultimately, 10 Long Beach fire vehicles, including ambulances, were deployed, along with one from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and one from the Compton Fire Department, he said.

Several lanes were closed to traffic until 9 p.m. Thursday. All lanes were open this morning.