MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Three people died in a head-on crash near Merced early Sunday morning, according to California Highway Patrol officers. 

The crash happened around 6:00 a.m. near Santa Fe Drive, west of Franklin Road. 

CHP says a 34-year-old man from Merced, was driving a Jeep westbound on Santa Fe Drive, west of Franklin Road. 

Investigators say a 38-year-old woman from Turlock, was driving a Nissan eastbound on Santa Fe Drive west of Franklin Road.

For an unknown reason, CHP says the driver of the Jeep drove directly in the path of the Nissan and crashed head-on with the Nissan. Both drivers and the passenger in the jeep a 34-year-old woman who was not wearing a seatbelt from Merced died at the scene, CHP says.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and it is unknown if DUI is a factor in the crash, according to CHP.