Alcohol Blamed For Crash That Kills 3

LA QUINTA (CBSLA.com) —  Three-twentysomething men — a driver and his two passengers — were killed when their speeding sedan crashed into a palm tree in La Quinta, according to authorities.

Sheriff’s deputies got a call about the single-vehicle crash about 1:10 a.m.

Officials said alcohol was a factor in the deadly crash. A fourth passenger also suffered major injuries.

The crash occurred on Avenue 52, east of Madison Street.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Pickowitz said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crashed into a tree in the center median.

All three of the victims hailed from Coachella. Driver Michael Garcia, 21 and Orlando Diarte, 20, both died at the scene. Eric Ceballaos, 20, was flown to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio where he succumbed to his injuries.

The fourth person in the car was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The status of that person’s condition is unknown.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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