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Street Racers in Laguna Niguel Collide, Injuring Two Passengers

One teenager was ejected from an SUV when it clipped a car. A homeowner suffers cuts.

August 31, 2004|Claire Luna | Times Staff Writer

Teenage friends racing their vehicles in Laguna Niguel collided early Monday, leaving one in extremely critical condition and another injured, authorities said.

The collision was so violent that one engine was thrown 75 feet and shards of concrete were flung into a house where a man was cut as he slept.

The crash scene was less than a mile from the intersection where a girl died Saturday in another high-speed collision.

A Pontiac Aztek SUV and a Honda CRX, both driven by 17-year-old boys, were speeding east on Crown Valley Parkway south of Alicia Parkway about 3:30 a.m. when the Pontiac clipped the Honda, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. "They were involved in an illegal street race."

The SUV crashed into a brick wall, ejecting a back-seat passenger, a 17-year-old Mission Viejo boy who was not wearing a seat belt. He was at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo on Monday in grave condition, Amormino said.

One of the Honda passengers, the 18-year-old brother of the SUV's driver, was wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate head injuries. The teens -- three from Mission Viejo, one from Santa Ana and three from Temecula -- had been at the beach before the crash. All males, they ranged in age from 15 to 18, Amormino said.

Their cars approached speeds of 90 mph when they collided, Amormino said. The names of the cars' occupants were not released. When the SUV rammed the 5-foot wall, sending chunks of brick and concrete through the adjacent home's glass doors, retired airline pilot Tom Gilligan, 68, was cut below his right eye while sleeping.

On Saturday morning, 14-year-old Breanna Moore, a Mission Viejo girl, died after a crash at Niguel Road and Marina Hills Drive. Authorities said driver James Dean Ericsson, 18, was speeding, hit a curb, careened across the road and hit a small tree. The other three passengers and Ericsson were at Mission Hospital on Monday. Ericsson and a 14-year-old Aliso Viejo girl were in critical condition.

Times staff writer Mai Tran contributed to this report.

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