Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Two people were killed Thursday afternoon and a third gravely injured when a vehicle veered out of control, overturned and caught fire on Interstate 8 in the far southeastern reaches of San Diego County.

The double-fatal wreck took place on the eastbound side of the freeway near Old Highway 80 in Jacumba shortly before 2:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Two of the occupants died at the scene of the accident about a mile west of the Imperial County line, said Thomas Shoots, a fire captain with the state agency. Medics airlifted a third to a trauma center for treatment of severe injuries.

Details about the victims, including ages and genders, were not immediately available.

Four California Highway Patrol officers who scrambled to save the victims were treated at the scene for apparently minor respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation, Shoots said.

The accident forced a complete closure of the freeway in the area for at least an hour, according to Cal Fire.

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