Originally posted at 1:01 p.m. Dec. 9, 2013.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to add that approximately two hours elapsed between the time the victims left the OC Tavern and the time of the accident.
Doug Pemberton helps run karaoke night each Friday at the bar and concert venue. It was an exceptionally slow night, so when five friends came in together on Friday, he noticed.
“We chatted a little, but mostly with J.R. (Martin Junior Nieto),” Pemberton said. Nieto danced with one of the female friends while Pablo Vargas Diaz and Luis Silva Olivar shot pool in the next room.
“They were all very friendly. I didn’t get the impression they were too inebriated. They seemed like total working professionals,” Pemberton said.
One thing he does remember is Nieto not wanting to leave. He lost that argument, and the fivesome left.
Approximately two hours later, after one more stop, the friends were riding in a white BMW southbound on El Camino Real. Sheriff’s officials said the car was moving at a high rate of speed when around 1:30 a.m. it struck two light poles and a palm tree.
The car split into two.
Gone were Nieto, 26 of Laguna Niguel, Vargas, 25, of San Juan Capistrano, Silva, 22 of San Juan Capistrano, and Lucia Garcia Solis.A fifth friend, a woman CBS2 has identified as Josephine Garcia of San Clemente, survived the accident and has been hospitalized.
Video taken by Gary Dubnicka of Temecula.
Click here for today’s top stories from San Juan Capistrano Patch.