Driver in triple-fatal Oceanside crash ID'd

OCEANSIDE - Authorities have identified the driver who lost his life in a crash that killed two other Japanese international-studies students in Oceanside last week and left five injured.
 
Minoru Yamamoto, 19, lost control while driving an eastbound 2000 Honda Prelude with seven passengers on state Route 78 west of College Boulevard shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office and the California Highway Patrol.
 
The packed sedan careened down an embankment, struck a power pole and overturned, authorities said. The force of the impact split the vehicle apart. All eight occupants wound up trapped in the wreckage, and it took emergency crews more than an hour to free them, according to  Oceanside Fire
Department Battalion Chief Bill Kogerman.
 
Yamamoto died at the scene, as did an 18-year-old woman and a 20-year- old man whose names were being withheld pending family notification, Medical Examiner's Office officials said.
 
Two women and three men, who ranged in age from 18 to 22, were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, authorities said.
 
The eight victims had started classes at Palomar College last week as part of a program that offers education to students from abroad, school spokeswoman Laura Gropen said.

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