Excessive speed, alcohol factors in crash that killed three Marines

CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) – Alcohol and unsafe speed were the primary causes
of a Dana Point crash that killed three Camp Pendleton-based U.S. Marines and
left a fourth serviceman fighting for his life, a sheriff's spokesman said

The rain-slick roadway was a lesser contributing factor to the crash
that occurred at 2:05 a.m. Tuesday, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County
Sheriff's Department.

He said the lone survivor, who was behind the wheel, remains in
extremely critical condition at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

The Marines were in a Dodge Stratus that crashed into a tree at Golden
Lantern Street just past Terra Vista.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to cut through the wreckage to get to
the servicemen, who were all in their early 20s, according to Orange County
Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone.

The two men in the back seat were declared dead at the scene, and the
driver and another man in the front passenger seat were taken to Mission
Hospital, where the passenger was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The Stratus was northbound on Golden Lantern at a high rate of speed
when the driver lost control of the car, which hit a curb before slamming into
a tree just past Terra Vista, Amormino said.

The names of the victims were expected to be released late this afternoon by
military officials.

Categories: KUSI