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Marine Dies After Car Crashes Into Telephone Pole

August 08, 1993

IRVINE — A 20-year-old Marine died early Saturday after his car hit a telephone pole while traveling at about 60 m.p.h. on Irvine Boulevard, authorities said.

Minutes later, a vehicle narrowly escaped hitting Lance Cpl. Philip Miller's car. But a third was unable to avoid striking his car, officials said.

The 12:35 a.m. accident occurred as Miller was driving southbound near Lambert Road, the California Highway Patrol said. The speed limit where the crash occurred is 45 m.p.h.

The coroner's office said preliminary tests showed that Miller, who was a member of a helicopter squadron at the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, had no alcohol in his blood but may have fallen asleep at the wheel. He was wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

Miller lived on base and was scheduled to go on leave Saturday, an air station official said.

The CHP said Miller was dead at the scene.

The unidentified driver of the car that struck Miller's was treated for minor injuries and released. Two other passengers were not injured. A third, George Forero, 31, of Lake Forest, was in good condition at Irvine Medical Center.

A memorial service will be held Monday at 3:30 p.m. at the base chapel.

Miller is survived by his wife, Melinda, and two children.

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