Update: 3 Marines Killed, 1 Critical After High-Speed Crash

The men were in their early 20s. The speeding car slammed into a tree, authorities say.

Updated 11:05 a.m. Tuesday with additional details. 

Three Camp Pendleton Marines were killed and a fourth is hospitalized in critical condition after their car hit a tree at a high speed in Dana Point, authorities said.

The Marines were traveling north on Golden Lantern Street just past Terra Vista at about 2:05 a.m. Tuesday when the driver lost control of the 2005 Dodge Stratus, hitting a curb and slamming into the tree, said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

It was raining at the time of the crash, Amormino said.

Two of the men died at the scene and a third died at a hospital. The fourth man, the driver, was hospitalized in critical condition at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

All four men were in their early 20s, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone. He said it took about 20 minutes for firefighters to cut the victims out of the car.

Authorities said that speed appears to have been a factor in the crash. Investigators have not determined if alcohol was involved.

Amormino said names of the crash victims will be released once the Marine Corps notified the next-of-kin.

Adam Townsend February 14, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Good catch. Our stories go through a couple sets of eyes before publication, but sometimes typos slip through. I fixed this one as a result of your comment.
James February 15, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Tisk, TIsk, Tisk... Even though I can assume the real reason behind this accident, I hope its not true. It's sad to lose such younger protectors of this country. This loss hurts the hearts of his Marine Brothers and family who are getting the news today on Valentines. This day will never mean the same thing for them again. God Bless, these Marines and their families.
Jules February 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM
I was there for the accident. I was standing on that sidewalk behind them when it happened and my friend called 911, while my other friend and I ran up to them. I don't believe they were drinking. The car accelerated right before it skreetched and hit. Either they were trying to speed up to make the red light that had just turned, or they hit the gas instead of the brake on accident.
Carl Hamilton February 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Just tragic. Thoughts and Prayers go out to all involved. Probably just out and about having a good time together on the holiday...so unfortunate.
rachel shirley February 28, 2012 at 12:07 AM
This is to Jules if you ever get back on here. I'm a very close friend Jared, the one who survived, and would like you to email me if you can! candycooze@gmail.com That comment made us back home in Arkansas feel better because we really don't have anything other than hospital updates. Thank you!!


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