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3 Men Killed, 1 Hurt When Car Hits Tractor-Trailer

Three San Fernando Valley men were killed early Saturday when their car veered across several lanes of the southbound San Diego Freeway near San Clemente and smashed into a tractor-trailer parked on the freeway shoulder.

Those killed were the driver, Vincente Letes, 26, of North Hollywood; and two passengers, Juan Cardenas, 26, of Arleta, and Samuel Gonzalez, 24, of Arleta.

A fourth man, Estaban Delgado, 33, of Arleta, remained in critical condition at Mission Viejo Community Hospital, spokeswoman Terri Castillo said.

The driver, authorities said, apparently lost control of the 1979 Pontiac about 4 a.m., striking the parked rig near the Camino De Estrella Street overpass.

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The truck’s operator, who was not injured, had stopped to check his load and was outside the truck, said Robyn Ferrin, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

The three men died at the scene.

Investigators found no evidence of drinking, Ferrin said.


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