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Three Coachella men die when car slams into tree

December 29, 2012 |  7:58 pm

Three Coachella men were killed in the predawn hours Saturday when their vehicle crashed into a palm tree in the center median of a La Quinta street.

Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, another died at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio.

A fourth occupant of the car was taken by helicopter to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

The initial investigation suggested that only one car was involved, and it was traveling at a high speed while heading eastbound on Avenue 52, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Alcohol was a factor in the accident, the department said in a release.

The Riverside County coroner identified the men who were killed as Eric Ceballos, 20; Orlando Diarte, 20, and Michael Garcia, 21. Garcia was driving, authorities said. All were residents of Coachella. 

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-- Howard Blume

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