Four students at Pacific Union College who were killed in a collision just north of St. Helena late Saturday night have been identified today as Boaz Pak, 20, Luke Nishikawa, 22, Simon Son, 19, and Chong Shin, 20, a college spokeswoman said.
The three-vehicle collision happened shortly before midnight on Deer Park Road just east of Sanitarium Road. The four students killed were in a black Honda Civic that was believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Trent Cross.
One of the other drivers suffered major injuries, and the third is facing DUI charges,
Friends of the students said the four men had just finished playing basketball at the college gym and were on their way to a Safeway grocery store in St. Helena to get something to eat prior to the collision, Pacific Union College spokeswoman Julie Lee said.
CHP Sgt. Trent Cross said the students were in a black Honda Civic traveling west on Deer Park Road when the driver lost control of the car, crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a Toyota T100 pickup truck.
A white Honda Civic then rear-ended the truck.
Pak, Nishikawa, Son and Shin were all pronounced dead at the scene, Cross said.
The driver of the pickup truck, 28-year-old Sandallo Martinez, was critically injured and airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where his condition has since been upgraded to stable, Cross said.
The driver of the white Honda, 20-year-old Carlos Ortiz, suffered minor injuries and was arrested for drunken driving and lying to a peace officer.
Speed is believed to be a factor in the collision, but the official cause remains under investigation, Cross said.
Pacific Union College is a four-year institution with approximately 1,400 students. All four men killed in the crash were reportedly well known on campus.
"The PUC community mourns the loss of four wonderful young men who were already giving service back to the community," Pacific Union College President Richard Osborn said in a prepared statement. "Our entire campus is grieving along with their families."
Nishikawa was from Honolulu, and majored in American History. Pak majored in biology and pre-pharmacy and came from Hidden Valley, Calif. Son was also from Hidden Valley and was a nursing major. Shin was a business administration and pre-dentistry major and was from Aloha, Ore., according to Lee.