By Jeff Gottlieb
6:44 PM PST, December 7, 2013
The driver of a car that crashed into a light pole and palm tree in San Clemente on Saturday, killing himself and three passengers, may having been drinking, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.
Speed is also suspected of playing a role in the crash, which occurred about 1:30 a.m., according to a preliminary investigation, said sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.
The impact of the single-vehicle crash split the white BMW in half and ejected four people from the vehicle, authorities said.
The driver of the BMW was identified as Pablo Vargas Diaz, 25, of San Juan Capistrano, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Two passengers killed in the accident were identified as Lucia Garcia Solis, 27, also of San Juan Capistrano, and Martin Junio Nieto, 26, of Laguna Beach. A fourth passenger killed in the accident has yet to be identified. A 24-year-old woman, who has not been identified, survived the crash and is being treated for injuries at Mission Hospital.
The wreck forced the shutdown of a portion of South El Camino Real, near West Avenida Valencia, for several hours, authorities said.
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