Pendleton Marines Killed in Dana Point Car Crash Identified

Fourth Marine remains in serious condition

By Olsen Ebright
|  Thursday, Feb 16, 2012  |  Updated 9:25 AM PDT
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OnScene

Feb. 14, 2012: Rescue workers respond to a fatal car crash in Dana Point.

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Three Marines Die in Solo-Car Crash in Dana Point

A car carrying four Pendleton Marines crashed into a tree in Dana Point at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Three marines died. Investigators are citing speed and perhaps, something else.
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Three U.S. Marines killed in a solo-car crash in Dana Point have been identified, military officials said Thursday.

Sgt. Jeremiah Callahan, Cpl. Jason Chleborad and Cpl. Christopher Arzola were traveling at a high-rate of speed on Gold Lantern Street at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 14 when the Dodge Stratus they were riding in crashed into a palm tree.

"I was sound asleep and I heard what sounded like a concussion, a bang, and I wasn't sure if I was dreaming so I opened the blinds and had to check it out," said Tim James who heard the crash.

The two men in the backseats were killed instantly. Rescue workers needed 20 minutes using the Jaws of Life to get the driver and front-seat passenger out of the vehicle.

Both men were taken to the hospital.

The passenger did not survive. The driver, who is also a Marine, remains in serious condition as of Thursday, according to the U.S. Marine Corps.

All four men were based in Camp Pendleton.

Callahan, of Chadron, Neb., enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 26, 2008. The 23-year-old was a data network specialist with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, according to the USMC.

Chleborad, of Rapid City, S.D., enlisted Aug. 18, 2008. The 22-year-old was also a data network specialist in the same battalion.

Arzola, of Westfield, Mass., enlisted Sept. 8, 2008. The 21-year-old was also a data network specialist in the same battalion.

The driver's identity has not been released.

The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.

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