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Newport fatal teen crash: Driver did not have license

Abdulrahman M. Alyahyan is seen in this photo provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
May 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The teenager behind the wheel of an Infiniti that crashed in Newport Beach with four other friends inside was not licensed to drive in California, according to DMV records.

Records show that Abdulrahman M. Alyahyan, 17, started an application with the DMV, but never completed it. It is unknown whether or not he had permit, but he did not have a California driver's license. Even drivers with a provisional driver's license still have to abide by certain rules, including having an adult in the car with them.

Court records also show that he was found in violation of his provisional license on April 20 in Irvine, as well as for improperly modifying a car's exhaust system.

Alyahyan and his friends were traveling southbound on Jamboree Road north of Island Lagoon in Newport Beach on Memorial Day when their car veered off the road and slammed into a tree. The impact was so severe that it severed the vehicle and started a fire.

Four of the victims died at the scene. The fifth died after being transported to a hospital.

The students killed were identified as Alyahyan, a 12th grade student at University High School; Nozad Al Hamawendi, 17, an 11th grade student at Irvine High School; Cecilia D. Zamora 17, an 11th grade student at Irvine High School; Aurora Christine Cabrera, 16, a 10th grade student at Irvine High School; and Robin Cabrera, 17, a 12th grade student at Irvine High.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of students attended a vigil held at Irvine High School.

"They were very loving and everyone loved them. They were really happy kids, they were always smiling and they were always so happy," said student Tara Jaff.

Friends say the Cabrera sisters were their parents' only children, and they were both accomplished dancers.

Friends also say Alyahyan came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia three years ago, and Al Hamawendi had moved from Iraq. They were best friends.

Tamer Mosallam was supposed to get picked up by the carload of teens for the beach trip, but he stayed behind because his father wanted him to study for a test. Mosallam said he was supposed to be the third boy for a three-way double date.

"I was supposed to be with them in the car, that's why there were three girls," he said. "They came to my house but my dad wouldn't let me go out because I was studying for a test."

Grief counselors were on hand at Irvine High School Wednesday, which was the first day back to school since the five teens, all from Irvine, were killed in the crash. There was no school Tuesday because it was teacher development day.

Authorities say the accident is the deadliest in recent Newport Beach history. Newport Beach police say speed appears to have been a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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