French road crash kills five

Five young men were killed in a road crash in northwestern France at the weekend while speeding with a second car carrying their girlfriends, police and local officials said on Sunday.

The men aged in their 20s were driving to a bar in the town of Tremblay-Omonville when their car hit the central reservation while passing the second car, crashed into another vehicle and rolled over several times, said police.

Four men were killed when they were thrown from the car while the driver "remained trapped for quite a long time" in the vehicle before he was taken to hospital where he died hours later, said an official from the local prefecture.

The driver of the second car was injured but was not listed in critical condition, he added.

The five women, who had called police to the scene, were questioned early Sunday about the accident that occurred around 1am in a 50 kilometre per hour speed limit.

The two cars were speeding and overtaking each other "for fun", according to accounts received by police.

Jean-Philippe Legueult, an official from the prefecture, said road accidents had killed 42 people in the Eure region since the beginning of the year, compared to 54 for all of 2007.

"These figures speak for themselves," he said.