IRVINE, Calif. (KTLA) — The 17-year-old driver of a car that slammed into a tree in Dana Point, killing himself and four friends, did not have a valid license, according to DMV records.
Abdul Alyahyan had an application pending, but a license had not been issued, the records indicated.
They also showed that the University High School student was cited in April for improperly modifying his car’s exhaust system and for windows that were tinted too dark.
The crash happened at 5:18 p.m. on Monday near the intersection of Jamboree Road and Island Lagoon Drive.
It appeared that Alyahyan was driving down Jamboree Road at a very high rate of speed when he lost control of his Infiniti sedan, police said.
The car hit a tree with such force that it split in half and caught fire.
Four people were ejected from the car and died immediately. A fifth died at an area hospital.
The passengers, all students at Irvine High School, were identified as Nozad Al Hamawendi, 17, Cecilia D. Zamora, 17, and sisters Aurora C. Cabrera, 16, and Robin A. Cabrera, 17.
And there might have been a sixth victim in the car, if not for a last minute change of plans.
“The one thing that I didn’t like saved my life — math,” 17-year-old Tamer Mosallam told KTLA.
Mosallam’s father made him stay home to study math on Monday night, preventing him from taking a cruise to the beach to catch the sunset with the group of teenagers.
The setup was supposed to be three boys and three girls, according to Mosallam. The group waited almost an hour for him, but he did not end up joining them.
Mosallam, who was best friends with Alyahyan, said he was texting his friend but got no reply.
He thought Alyahyan was just mad at him, until he saw the news and recognized his friend’s distinctive, suped-up car.
“I’m looking at life differently now,” Mosallam said. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to take it, but I’ve never felt anything like this before.”
“When you’re young, you feel invincible… that you can handle whatever you’re doing,” his brother, Dean Mosallam said. “The thing is we’re young — we’re teenagers. We’re not adults yet.”