PALMDALE – A 64-year-old man died Thursday morning when the vehicle he was riding in spun out of control after it was sideswiped by an SUV that veered into the opposing traffic lane, authorities said.
The fatal collision happened around 3:50 a.m. Thursday, May 6, on 50th Street East just north of Avenue P, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
Michael Reinert, 52, of Lancaster, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Suburban southbound on 50th Street East when, “for reasons still under investigation,” he allowed his vehicle to veer into the northbound lane where it sideswiped a 2020 Chevrolet Malibu, the CHP report states.
The Malibu spun out of control and ended up in the southbound lane, where it was hit on the right side by a 2011 Toyota Yaris, according to the CHP report.
The front passenger in the Malibu was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not yet been released pending next of kin notification.
The three other occupants of the Malibu — driver Lurlene Smith, 68, and passengers Bertha Smith, 66, and Inga Smith, 47, all from Palmdale — sustained major injuries and were transported by ambulance to Antelope Valley Hospital.
The driver of the Toyota Yaris, 32-year-old Richard Gomez of Lancaster, also sustained major injuries and was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital.
Reinert [the Chevrolet Suburban’s driver] sustained moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to Antelope Valley Hospital.
“The involvement of alcohol and/or drugs is not suspected at this time and is still under investigation,” the CHP report states.
UPDATE: The deceased has been identified as 64-year-old Mac Smith of Lancaster, authorities said.