By Mark Glover and Anne Gonzales
Four people were killed in a violent, head-on crash this afternoon on northbound Interstate 5 in Elk Grove, emergency officials said.
Tracey Hansen, chief of the Cosumnes Fire Department, confirmed the four fatalities and said seven others were injured in the wreck.
The injured were taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Kaiser South, Sutter General and Methodist Hospital, all in critical but stable condition.
Names of those killed in the crash have not yet been released.
Northbound lanes of I-5 near the crash site remain shut down as emergency officials continue to clean up the scene and investigate further.
Hansen said emergency crews were dispatched to the crash site about a half mile north of Hood Franklin Road at 3:41 p.m.
Investigating officials there said a 2004 Ford Expedition, a large sport-utility vehicle that comes with three rows of seating, was southbound on I-5 when it veered out of control for an as-yet unknown reason and crossed the center divider, colliding head-on with a 2012 Honda Accord heading north.
Both vehicles rolled over, and people were ejected from both cars.
Officials said the Ford had nine occupants, including a driver and two passengers who were killed and six others who were taken to hospitals.
The Honda Accord had two occupants. Officials said the male driver of the Honda was killed, and a female passenger believed to be 50 to 60 years old was taken to a hospital.
Another vehicle, a Toyota RAV4 towing a boat, was involved in the crash, but no injuries were reported in that SUV.
Officials said the closed lanes of I-5 - shut down at Twin Cities Road - are expected to remain closed until late tonight or very early tomorrow morning.
Northbound traffic is being detoured east to Franklin Boulevard or Highway 99. Motorists wanting to re-enter I-5 northbound can do so via Elk Grove Boulevard.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover (916) 321-1184.