Two dead, three injured in Coast Highway pileup on Sunday afternoon
By Jim Shilander
Updated on Wednesday, October 15 at 4:00 p.m.
A four-vehicle accident near the intersection of Beach Road and Coast Highway claimed two lives Sunday afternoon, authorities confirmed.
Two vehicles–a Mini-Cooper driven by a 15-year-old student driver and his instructor, and a Volkswagen Jetta with driven by 43-year-old man and with a 32-year-old–were traveling northbound at approximately 1:20 p.m., said Orange County Sheriff’s Department public information officer Jeff Hallock. The two other vehicles involved, a van and Honda, were traveling southbound.
According to a sheriff’s department Twitter page post on Monday evening, authorities believe alcohol may have been a factor in the accident. Investigators are awaiting toxicology confirmation.
Hallock said a preliminary reconstruction of the accident indicated the Jetta attempted a “passing movement,” putting it in the path of the two other vehicles.
It appeared the worst of the collision occurred between the Jetta and the van, he said.
Authorities currently have no estimation as to the speed the vehicles were traveling at the time of the crash, Hallock said.
Four other injuries resulted from the accident. Two came from the van, one from the Honda, each of whom were taken to medical facilities, authorities confirmed. The student driver was treated by paramedics at the scene and released to parents.
The instructor was unhurt.
There is a no passing zone in the area. Coast Highway, which was closed after the crash, was reopened at approximately 9 p.m.
This is the second fatal accident in the area in 48 hours. A San Clemente man, Paul Michelena, was killed Friday when, as a pedestrian, he was struck by a vehicle in the Ralphs parking lot at El Camino Real and Avenida Barcelona.