Three Teens Die in High-Speed Crash on Via Marina
Another is clinging to life after car flipped and struck a tree on sharp curve near water’s edge
By Gary Walker and Joe Piasecki
Three teenagers are dead and another remains in critical condition after a high-speed car crash at a sharp curve on Via Marina near the Mariners Village Apartments in Marina del Rey.
The silver Honda Accord carrying two men and two women was heading toward the harbor’s main channel at high speed on Monday evening when it struck the center median, flipped in the air and came to rest upside down against a shoreline tree, according to witnesses and investigators. The curve is a nearly 90-degree bend.
The driver and passengers were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Stafford said.
Two of the vehicle’s occupants, a young man who died and a young woman who survived, were ejected from the car during the crash. The woman was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries.
Firefighters who arrived on scene at about 4:55 p.m. worked to extract the other two victims (a man and a woman) from the overturned car, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Eric Scott said.
The L.A. County Coroner’s office has identified the woman who died in the crash as Dimnike Clemmons, 19, and the men who died as Anthony Sage Jr. and Lavell Boyston Jr., both 18, Coroner’s investigator Anthony Lopez said.
Witnesses to the crash include a group of women and children who were relaxing at the time in a waterfront green space adjacent to Mariners Village. They were about 100 to 150 feet from the crash.
Amaya Serna, a Mariners Village resident, said she heard tires squealing just before she saw the car hit the center divider and turn over as it went airborne before striking a large tree.
“It was like [a scene in] a movie,” Serna said.
“The car came super-fast, hit the divider and it just flew. When it hit the tree, it was in pieces,” said another woman who was with Serna’s group when the crash happened.
Serna said witnesses also included a man who jumped the fenced gate of the apartment complex’s Channel Walk and rushed to the scene to render aid.
The CHP’s Stafford said officers are investigating reports that another car may have been traveling close behind the one that crashed.
“We can’t confirm anything at this time, but we are investigating that possibility,” he said.
On Nov. 17, a car speeding down Pacific Avenue missed the sharp curve onto Via Marina (about a fifth of a mile from the site of Monday’s crash) and plunged through a guardrail into Marina del Rey harbor. The driver was able to exit the vehicle and flee the scene before first responders arrived.