VENTURA — Three University of California, Santa Barbara, students were killed and a fourth was missing Friday night after their car plunged off California 1 into the Pacific Ocean south of Point Mugu.
Ventura County Sheriffs have recovered and identified the bodies of Michele Marie Friedlander, 20, of Pacific Palisades, Matthew Plaskett, 21, of Salinas and Miguel Garza, 20, of Los Gatos. Authorities searched the coastal waters Friday for a fourth passenger, Wendy Finkel of Woodland Hills, a roommate of Friedlander who was reportedly traveling with the others. Finkel, who turned 19 on Thursday, failed to show up for her birthday party in Isla Vista that evening.
Authorities said they believe that the students were returning to Santa Barbara in the early morning Thursday, after spending Wednesday evening in Los Angeles, when the 1986 Honda Civic driven by Plaskett failed to navigate a turn on California 1 south of Sycamore Canyon.
Car Falls Into Ocean
The car went over the dirt shoulder on the mountain side of the highway and traveled more than 200 feet, then veered across the oncoming lanes, over an embankment and careened 35 feet into the ocean, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.