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.