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Driver in Irvine crash that killed five in stable condition

Driver in Irvine crash that killed five in stable condition
Five teenagers were killed in a single-vehicle accident on the southbound 5 Freeway in Irvine early Saturday. (KTLA)

The 16-year-old driver of a car that crashed on the 5 Freeway in Irvine over the weekend and killed five other teenagers was listed Sunday in serious but stable condition, hospital officials said.

Bradley Morales, who underwent brain surgery after suffering a large skull fracture, was placed in the pediatric intensive care unit at CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital, according to a hospital statement.

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"At this time, his family does not wish to release any other information," the statement said.

Morales was the sole survivor of the crash that occurred on the southbound side of the 5 Freeway about 2:10 a.m. Saturday near the 133 Freeway interchange, according to the California Highway Patrol. He told authorities that the group of teenagers were heading home after spending the evening at Knott's Scary Farm in nearby Buena Park.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the crash but said speed was a factor and that Morales apparently did not have a driver's license.

Two female victims of the crash also were identified by friends and family members Sunday as Jenny Campos and Jennifer Bahena. Both girls were students at Laguna Hills High School.

The three male victims were identified by their coach and teammates from the Mission Viejo Soccer Club as Alex Sotelo, Matthew Melo and Brandon Moreno. Alex and Matthew were ninth-graders at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, and Brandon was in eighth grade at Carl Hankey Middle School.

Morales was driving a white 1995 BMW sedan that veered off the roadway and hit a guardrail, CHP officials said. Due to its speed, the car continued up an embankment and came to rest on a concrete retaining wall, where it became engulfed in flames.

That blaze touched off a small brush fire around the vehicle, which Orange County firefighters quickly extinguished, the CHP said. Five bodies were found inside the vehicle and Morales was found outside, officials said.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday night at Capistrano Valley High.

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