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UPDATE: Coroner IDs 3 Dead in La Quinta DUI Crash

Two people died at the scene of the crash on Avenue 52 and another died at a hospital early Saturday, authorities said.

Update 12:09 a.m. Dec. 30, 2013:

Three men who died from injuries suffered in an allegedly alcohol-fueled crash were identified as Coachella residents.

Michael Garcia, 21, of Coachella, was the driver of the allegedly speeding sedan that struck a palm tree early Saturday in La Quinta.

He died at the scene of the crash and had been wearing a seatbelt, authorities said.

Orlando Diarte, 20 and also of Coachella, was a passenger in the sedan and died in the car, on the eastbound Avenue 52, about 1700 feet east of Madison St.

He also wore a seatbelt and was not ejected.

A second passenger, Eric Ceballos, 20, of Coachella, died at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital about two hours after the crash; the young man also wore a seatbelt, according to the Riverside County Coroner's office.


Alcohol was blamed for an early morning crash Saturday that instantly killed two people and led to the death of another at a local hospital, also critically injuring a fourth, authorities said.

The crash on Avenue 52, near Madison Street, in La Quinta, was reported at 1:10 a.m., according to Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Robert Pickowitz.

According to a written statement, a vehicle speeding east on Avenue 52 struck a palm tree in the center median.

Emergency crews found two people dead at the scene, Pickowitz wrote.

Two others were taken to local hospitals: one to John F. Kennedy Hospital by ambulance, the other was airlifted to Desert Regional Hospital.

One of the two died at a hospital; it was unclear whether the person airlifted was the one who later died.

The county coroner's office had not released a report Saturday morning.

desertpatriot December 30, 2012 at 07:00 PM
"racist rants"? where? might i conclude by saying you're an idiot
Tommy Lucero December 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM
due anything? i think desertpatriot is right, you are an idiot for a couple of reasons.
moreno December 31, 2012 at 07:01 AM
heart goes out to the friends and families of the three young men killed in crash. I was at work when I got the news. I worked with Micheal Garcia. he was cool. I was kind of in shock and then then thought of the manor of which he died and shock my head in disappointment and just thinking damn I seen him the other day he smiled with his hands in his sweater pocket then let me pass by. then I get news that he died it's like whaaaaaat. damn if he would of just went home after work...................................silent........................................... the choices we make when they are bad we hope god is looking out keeping us safe. this wasent the case this time. I am very sad about this news. there is two others dead they had their whole lives ahead of them and bam gone not good. when I think about this I shake my head that's messed up.
brande January 06, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Too lenient on drunk driving !!
Brittany Recio April 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Eric Ceballos is my boyfriend. When I found out my heart broke into a million pieces :'( we've been going 1yr and 3mo. It sucks losing a loved one. My heart still aches. I Love/Miss You So Much My Love.


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