The bus was rear-ended in a fatal collision east of LA. Photo via OnScene.TV

Members of the San Diego Christian College basketball team escaped injury early Sunday, but the driver of a car was killed as his vehicle rear-ended the team’s charter bus and caught fire east of Los Angeles.

The motorist was later identified as Xujun Lu, 26, of Chino Hills, according to the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office. A passerby pulled Lu from his car before it caught fire, the coroner said, but Lu was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 1:30 a.m. crash was on the southbound Corona (71) Freeway in Chino Hills, in western San Bernardino County. That is a common bypass route around Los Angeles. Video showed a charred VW Jetta wedged under the left rear side of the bus, both reduced to their charred metal frames.

CHP officers said everyone on the bus evacuated and no one was hurt. The team had been returning from a Saturday game in Bakersfield, to the small college in the San Diego suburb of Santee. The crash occurred a little after 1:20 a.m. on Route 71 at the Grand Avenue interchange in Chino Hills, about 10 miles south of Pomona, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Lu, driving a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, had been going south at about 50 miles per hour in the number three lane and “due to circumstances still under investigation,” the CHP reported, the front end of his Jetta struck the rear of the 2012 tour bus.

The 19 members of the San Diego Christian College basketball team and the driver were not injured, according to reporters at the scene.

— City News Service

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