Chula Vista, CA Auto Plunges Into Channel, Apr 1980


Chula Vista, Calif. (AP) - Police are trying to learn why a car carrying six persons went off an embankment, overturned and landed in the 24th Street Channel, killing all inside.
There was no indication of foul play, officers said, but when asked if the driver could have unknowingly driven into the channel, a police spokesman said, "not unless he tried to."
The San Diego County coroner's office said the cause of death would be established today, although it was presumed the victims had drowned.
The victims were identified by the coroner's office as IRMA MAGA, 16, of National City and her 14-year-old sister, ISABEL MAGA. Also killed were AMADO BELTRAN, 15; ALFREDO HERNANDEZ, 16; and ALFONSO VERAL, 20, all of National City, and OSCAR GONZALEZ, 28, who was reportedly visiting from Mexico.
VERAL was identified by police as the owner of the 1967 blue Chevrolet Impala.
The car was spotted by a sheriff's helicopter on routine patrol shortly before noon Wednesday, police said. It was not immediately known how long the car had been in the water, according to a coroner's spokesman.
A National City police spokesman said the two women had been reported missing Sunday.

Santa Cruz Sentinel California 1980-04-10