Five Irvine teens killed in fiery Newport Beach car crash

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The five people killed in a fiery Memorial Day car crash in Newport Beach were teenagers from Irvine, authorities said Tuesday morning.

Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said officials were using fingerprints to identify the three girls and two boys killed in the crash. He said the majority of the victims appeared to be high school-aged.

Ian Hanigan, a spokesman for the Irvine Unified School District, said Irvine high school students had the day off Tuesday for a staff development day and that the district had no confirmation that any of the victims attended school in Irvine.


“Right now we’re just waiting for information like you are,” he said.

Authorities are still investigating the single-car crash, which Newport Beach police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe called the city’s worst “in recent memory.”

She said the car, an Infiniti, had been heading south on Jamboree Road in the direction of Pacific Coast Highway when it veered off the road and into the center divider. It struck a tree, ripped apart and burst into flames.

Newport fire Capt. Glenn White, who was on duty at the Balboa fire station, said that rescuers were dispatched at 5:23 p.m. after an initial report of a multiple-vehicle crash with the possibility of pedestrians being struck.

“When we arrived we found what we thought were two vehicles,” he said. “One was on fire.”

Four people were ejected from the vehicle, and another passenger was partially ejected, police said. Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene; Lowe said the other was taken to a Mission Viejo hospital but could not be resuscitated.

“I’ve been on duty for almost 30 years, and I’ve seen some terrible vehicular accidents,” White said. “This was, if not the worst, one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

A 2009 crash on Newport Beach’s Jamboree Road also split a vehicle in two when it crashed into a light pole, killing its driver.


A 10-car crash in 2011 along Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile killed three people.


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