Three men were killed and seven others injured Sunday night when a speeding car lost control on Vanowen Avenue in Winnetka.
Reports indicate that the three men were driving in a Ford Explorer down Vanowen at approximately 70 miles per hour when they hit a dip and went flying. The Explorer collided with a truck carrying four passengers, all of whom were wearing their seat belts and were mildly injured. The Explorer then rolled and crashed into a third vehicle carrying a pregnant woman and her husband, who also were not seriously injured.
However, three of the passengers of the Explorer who were not wearing seat belts were ejected from the vehicle and died. A fourth passenger, wearing a belt, survived the crash.
According to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, the three died at the scene.
They were identified as Steve Orellana Jr., 22, of Reseda, Celestino Fuentes, 22, of Burbank, and Isaiah Sanchez, 23, of Northridge. Two of the men were veterinarian technicians at a Van Nuys Animal Hospital, the third had just finished EMT school.
Residents of the area said that Vanowen at that stretch is a known pathway for speeders – another straight, long valley street that encourages reckless driving.