Three girls killed in accident


Bryce Alderton

Three teenage girls form Huntington Beach were killed late Tuesday

when their car was struck by a suspected drunk driver, police said.

Jillian Baedeker, 19, and Nancy Lee, 18, died instantly after a yellow

1983 Ford Mustang driven by 27-year-old James Paul Bell Jr. from Rowland

Heights broadsided their 1996 silver Nissan Sentra, police said.

The accident occurred just before midnight at the corner of Beach

Boulevard and Edinger Avenue.

The third girl, Chelsea Toma, 19, was taken to UCI Medical Center in

Orange and died at 7:43 a.m. Wednesday, Meza said.

Huntington Beach Police arrested Bell on suspicion of felony driving

under the influence. Bell is currently in critical condition with

internal injuries at UCI Medical Center, Meza said.

Police continue to investigate the cause of the accident, but they

suspect Bell drove his car through a red light at the intersection,

striking the Sentra, Meza said.

After the collision with the Sentra, the Mustang careened into a 1995

white Honda that had stopped at a red light set to go east on Edinger

Avenue from Beach Boulevard, police said.

The two occupants in the Honda were taken to Huntington Beach Hospital

and treated for minor injuries, Meza said.

All three victims attended Marina High School at one time, said Carol

Osbrink, the school’s principal for the last eight years.

But Lee and Baedeker both transferred schools, Osbrink said.

Lee graduated in 2000 from Edison High School, according to school

officials. Osbrink did not know what school Baedeker transferred to.

Toma graduated from Marina High School last year, Osbrink said.

“It’s really sad that three youngsters are gone in the prime of their

life,” Osbrink said. “Their lives were just beginning. A lot of students

knew them. It will be very hard for them.”