Updated: Five Girls Injured, 2 Critically, in RSM Crash

The incident occurred on Melinda Road late Saturday.

Editor's note: Updated to include more detail, clarify facts. Originally posted Dec. 8, 1:45 a.m.

By Martin Henderson

Less than 24 hours after four people suffered fatal injuries in a car accident in San Clemente that may have been attributed to speed and alcohol, five teenage girls were injured—two of them critically—when speed may have played a role in a crash in Rancho Santa Margarita, according to authorities. 

The incident occurred on Melinda Road as the vehicle, with teens inside ranging in age from 16 to 19, headed toward Santa Margarita Parkway. But at the bend in the road at Paseo Alegria, the black Mercedes sedan continued straight, crossing lanes of traffic, jumping the curb and plowing up an embankment, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi. 

The car ran through a small tree before coming to rest after hitting a large one after traveling about 40 feet off the road, Concialdi said.

The accident occurred Saturday, 10:53 p.m. The vehicle just missed a monument sign for the Cortesia apartments.

"This is a reminder to slow down," said Concialdi, who worked the crash in San Clemente and also made note of the death a week ago of two men, one of them actor Paul Walker, in a single-car crash in which speed may have also been a factor.

Two of the girls were transported to the trauma center at Mission Regional Hospital in critical condition, Concialdi said. Two with moderate injuries were transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana and one with mild injuries was taken to Saddleback Hospital.

He said two of the girls had to be extricated from the wreckage, which he called "horrific."

Melinda Road was closed at the crash scene in both directions for a couple of hours for the OCSD's major accident investigation team.      

City News Service contributed to this story.
JULIE CONCEPCION December 08, 2013 at 11:03 AM
why can we see the car licence plate number clearly before the girls names are released ?? i live very close and the girls probably go to my daughters school ,
Mary Pat Daly-Hiller December 08, 2013 at 11:21 AM
That's just a stock photo that they used, not a photo of the crash the article is about.
Karen December 08, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Isn't that just a stock photo considering the crash happened at night and article posted at 3:21am. There would be no daylight.
JULIE CONCEPCION December 08, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Thank you for telling me that , i had not thought of that
Martin Henderson (Editor) December 08, 2013 at 11:43 AM
It's a stock graphic we use when we don't have a photo. We have them for fires, police action and other things as well.
Jane December 08, 2013 at 01:47 PM
That is a stock photo, not even a Mercedes, but a Volvo.
Kim Miller December 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Fast cars are so hot!
Susan Trehy December 08, 2013 at 06:40 PM
It actually happened on Melinda and Estancia. All of the debris is still there. Cars travel too fast on Melinda. I have called many times to try and get the speed limit lowered. This area is a fatality waiting to happen. Very scary.
FHS alumni December 08, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Was the alcohol involved?
Commentator December 09, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Confirmed from friends that driver blood came clear of any alcohol , clear signs of hydroplane. Speed limit should drop on Melinda road to avoid such accidents.
Mary Pat Daly-Hiller December 09, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Just wanted to clarify the article is correct that it happened at Melinda and Paseo Alegria, not at Via Estancia. My daughter and I were on our way home and passed it about 5 minutes after it happened. Very scary.
Marc Harris December 09, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Our prayers go out to these girls! Video footage of this amazing rescue can be seen at Youtube / obamacareOC http://youtu.be/0iu5ScjSsqQ
John Smith December 09, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I think the investigation will find that you cannot do that kind or damage driving the posted speed limit of 45 MPH. I would agree with you that going the opposite direction, down the hill by the Ayres Hotel, the 50 MPH speed limit is too fast. Too many people under estimate the speed of traffic when pulling out of parking lots along that stretch.
Brandon Wolfe January 04, 2014 at 11:08 PM
I Agree 100%


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