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Patch Exclusive Video: Ill-Fated Friends Just Hours Before Death

Five friends went to OC Tavern, enjoying karaoke and pool the night before a crash claimed the lives of four of them.

Martin Junior Nieto dancing at OC Tavern in San Clemente Friday night, just two hours before he and three others died in a horrible car crash. Video screen shot.
Martin Junior Nieto dancing at OC Tavern in San Clemente Friday night, just two hours before he and three others died in a horrible car crash. Video screen shot.

Originally posted at 1:02 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.

Just two hours before five friends met a horrible fate, they were at OC Tavern, dancing, singing karaoke and shooting pool. Patch gained exclusive access to this admittedly grainy video.

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 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.

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Spy Ayala December 09, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I just wanna write this because I am very disappointed! this is absolutely a FALSE story I work at the OC Tavern and I was really close friends with them ALL, I was with them the night it happened... and the people dancing in this video is not Martin, Martin is actually the guy in the white shirt playing pool. None of my friends were dancing. WE WERE only IN THE POOL ROOM!! Never did we decided to do karaoke at all!! How do I know this? because I was in that pool room playing pool with them all!! PLEASE STOP LYING and spreading rumors about my friends death!! and we did not get kicked out of the OC Tavern we chose to leave on our own!!!!
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 10, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Hi Spy. I sent you an email. There's no intention to lie. The information comes from someone who manages karaoke night. He is sure Martin JR) sang, but he could be wrong. It was not said with bad intentions, if he was wrong.
Spy Ayala December 10, 2013 at 02:24 AM
well its wrong ... if it was not said with bad intentions please take it down because the information is false and i am absolutely sure martin was not singing or dancing. ok thank you .
Penny Arévalo (Editor) December 10, 2013 at 10:40 AM
Thank you for your input. As I said in my email, I'd like to be able to attribute this to a real person. I'd need your name. Thanks!
Doug Pemberton December 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM
I know this is a ver difficult time and the intent of this posting was and has been completely misread. I did know know Martin (Junior) or as the name that was given was JR. Pablo had come over and chatted with us but the impression we all had was that they were all happy and having a fun time. They did NOT come across as inebriated. That was my opinion. They were there. They did come over and put their names in for karaoke. If I got the name incorrect on the person dancing in the video or if that was not Martin, I am truly sorry for the error. The only intent was to make a statement that they were there shooting pool and came over to karaoke. They put their name in (JR) and for what I know, sang. There is nothing malicious about that whatsoever. That is not a rumor. That is what happened. As for the "Getting kicked out" That was never said in this post. I do not know where that came from but as you can see in the posting, it never states anyone was "Kicked out" or asked to leave. What was said was that some wanted to leave and some wanted to stay at OC Tavern. I had every good intent to show that all five persons involved were friendly, happy, curtious and professional and respectful. That was it. If it has been taken any other way then, I am very very sorry. My heart goes out to the family and all of the friends that have been impacted by this tragedy. If you still feel any of this is incorrect please talk to me. As stated prior they were all very kind and happy people. I did not know them but have nothing but positive things to say after meetin
Ryno Room December 10, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Spy, we liked your friends. Me and Doug were looking forward to knowing them better because they were super cool and friendly, but it was unfortunate that all went to a sudden halt. I have the song request sheet that JR had filled, and I was really impressed when he started rapping. Pab even bought me a beer and I rarely get offered, but he did. Our hearts and prayers go to all their friends and families. Ryno

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