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IRVINE : Identity of Crash Victim Is Sought

Police are seeking the identity of a driver who was burned beyond recognition in a three-car accident on Interstate 5 late Sunday night.

The fatal accident occurred when a passenger truck rear-ended a 1986 Chevette that was slowing down in response to freeway congestion, said California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Angel Johnson.

“The Chevette apparently burst into flames immediately upon impact,” Johnson said. After the collision, the Chevette veered out of control, hitting the center divider as the car became engulfed in flames, she said.

Witnesses could not remember seeing the driver, and Johnson said firefighters on the scene found the badly burned victim lying across the front seat. The Orange County coroner’s office is trying to determine the driver’s identity through dental records.

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The 1991 Ford Ranger that struck the Chevette was occupied by two Marines from Camp Pendleton. The 19-year-old driver was not detained or cited although an investigation into the accident is continuing, Johnson said. An 18-year-old passenger received minor injuries and was treated at Irvine Medical Center.

The Chevette hit another vehicle, driven by a 40-year-old Laguna Niguel woman. She was not hurt, Johnson said.


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