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Marine, 19, Is Killed in Drag Race Collision

August 12, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A 19-year-old Marine who had just returned from the Middle East was killed Monday when the car he was riding in crashed during a drag race in Santa Fe Springs, authorities said.

Lance Cpl. Erick Rodriguez of Walnut died when the Honda Civic, driven by a fellow Marine, went over an embankment of the 605 Freeway and struck a tree about 12:30 a.m., said Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Witnesses told investigators the Honda and an Acura had been racing at speeds over 100 mph, said Officer John Samson of the California Highway Patrol. Near Telegraph Road, the Acura hit the back of the Civic, sending it off the road, investigators said.

The Acura's driver remained at large. The other driver, Miguel Solorzano, 19, of Norwalk, was in critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Sampson said.

Solorzano and Rodriguez were both stationed at Camp Pendleton. Rodriguez served in the Middle East as an auto mechanic between February and July, Staff Sgt. Bill Lisbon said.

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