A 16-year-old girl thrown from one of two speeding cars that crashed on Santiago Canyon Road this week died, and six other young people suffered minor injuries.
Marie Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was declared dead at the scene about 1:45 a.m., Monday California Highway Patrol Officer Todd Kovaletz said.
Antonio Escamilla, 19, of Irvine -- the driver of the Civic Johnson was riding in -- was under arrest at a hospital and expected to be booked for driving under the influence and manslaughter, Kovaletz said.
The group was headed to Black Star Canyon, he said.
A 20-year-old man -- tentatively identified as Julias Isaac of Irvine -- was driving the other 2006 Civic, but he was not immediately cited or arrested, Kovaletz said.
Both cars were going about 70 mph on Santiago Canyon Road, with Isaac's car in the lead, when Isaac said he saw a deer run across the road about 1:30 a.m. just before Silverado Canyon Road, causing him to slam on the brakes, Kovaletz said.
Escamilla, who was close behind, slammed on his brakes and lost control of the car, causing the car to go off the road, down an embankment where he crashed into a tree and the car rolled over, Kovaletz said.
The Honda Isaac was driving, meanwhile, collided with a curb and also rolled over, Kovaletz said.
Blackstar Canyon is a popular hangout with teens, Kovaletz said.
"They think it's haunted and it's relatively famous among young kids," Kovaletz said.
"We want to remind people the California Highway Patrol has several programs we offer -- such as the Start Smart class for younger drivers -- that cover underage drinking and driving and overall driving safety," Kovaletz said.
– City News Service.