Three people died Sunday night when their SUV left Highway 50 in El Dorado County and plunged down the side of the roadway into a tree.
The crash occurred about 11:50 p.m. Sunday when the sport-utility vehicle with four people inside was traveling westbound on Highway 50 east of Peavine Ridge Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The SUV failed to negotiate a curve and traveled off the roadway and down a steep grade. The vehicle hit a tree and the top of the SUV was ripped off.
A man and two women in the SUV were ejected and died at the scene. The fourth person, a man who had been wearing a seat belt, climbed up the steep embankment and flagged down a motorist for help. He was seriously injured.