Three Teens Die in High-Speed Crash on Via Marina

Posted December 30, 2015 by The Argonaut in News

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

A memorial to the crash victims  has been set up under the tree that the car struck as it came to rest upside down Photo by Joe Piasecki

A memorial to the crash victims
has been set up under the tree that the car struck as it came to rest upside down
Photo by 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.



    This a shame. We have reached out to the City and the County about speed humps along Via Marina toward the Jetty for years. In January 2014 an 81 year old woman got hit and broke her shoulder – the answer from the political representatives was we would have to pay for it our selves…really? How about the fact we have also requested two more cross walks on Via Marina and where the accident happened?
    How about our political representatives being preventative for a change instead of waiting for more injuries and deaths?
    With the impending building of the hotel on Via Marina and Tahiti Way that no one wanted……..along with the 45mph speed limit and the influx of more people, it is a recipe for disaster.


      dont you think the fact they were going 80 was a factor ? people have to take responsibilty for their own actions not keep blaming others? that why there are signs for speed like SLOW DOWN posted .. thats why you pass a driving test to show you can obey rules

        Sadia Walker

        Speed was a factor indeed but not always it is a race.If you don’t know this road or the curve or that the speed is going to drop down to 20mph. Also these are children! A little compassion would be greatly appreciated.


    Something needs to be done about Via Marina in general. As a resident whose Windows face that street, I can tell you that a lot of people use it as a raceway. The sounds that come from there are ungodly at all hours. And the speed is ridiculous for a pedestrian street. This will continue to happen unless there is a way to slow down the traffic on this street. There is no logical reason to be driving 80mph on this street. None.

    Sanford Nadlman

    Via Marina has many problems with speeders. I am a resident of a condo that faces Via Dolce, the rear faces Via Marina. We had a lady resident struck by a car crossing at Bora Bora to mail a letter. There is no cross walks. The speed limit is to fast.


    I live a quarter mile off Via Marina and hear speeding traffic like this at all hours, including emergency response vehicles responding to god knows what. Via Marina currently is a 45 mph zone that could certainly use a speed reduction among other things. As time goes on and the weather begins to warm up, we will see an increase in bicycle and pedestrian traffic on this street. The new apartment construction, Saturday farmers market on the corner of Via Marina and Panay Way and Thursday night food truck’s at Mother’s Beach will also add to more non-vehicular traffic and so goes the risk of similar accidents. I hope the planners have enough forethought to manipulate traffic patterns sooner than later before we see another incident like this. This may not be the solution but I would like to see Via Marina a 35 mph, bicycle lanes added, speed humps at the end of Via Marina where this accident occurred and more traffic policing. I’d figure that speeding violations and excessive noise from all the clapped-out sports cars and motorcycles is enough right now to keep at least two CHP officers busy from 4PM to 1AM..

    randy banks

    that was my mans maaaan shit brazy RIP gk vell always in my heart

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