Police investigators are still searching for the cause of a dangerous Memorial Day accident that left five teenagers dead in Newport Beach.
According to the Newport Beach Police Department, the crash took place shortly before 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of Jamboree Road and Island Lagoon Drive, where a newer-model Infiniti sedan carrying five teenagers traveling south suddenly swerved off the road and into a tree, splitting the vehicle in half and igniting a fire.
Four of the teenaged passengers were killed instantly in the impact and ejected from the bisected vehicle. A fifth who was found in the vehicle half not on fire was rushed to a nearby hospital by responding paramedics, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The identities of the victims, two boys and three girls from Irvine, have not yet been released, as the county coroner’s office is still working to notify their next of kin. Upon their notification, more information will be announced.
Following the accident, police shut down both sides of Jamboree Road from Pacific Coast Highway to Highway 73 to allow firefighters to extinguish the burning vehicle portion and cleanup crews to remove extensively scattered debris from lanes. An official investigation was also launched in hopes of uncovering what may have caused the vehicle to suddenly veer off the road.
Among the factors being considered is excessive speed, says Kathy Lowe of the Newport Beach PD. “That will be a part of our investigation to determine exactly the speed of the vehicle, what factors caused it to veer off the road and strike that tree.” The influence of drugs or alcohol is also being investigated, given that the accident took place on a federal holiday.
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