UPDATE: Newport Beach mayor says 17-year-old driver could have been going more than 100 MPH

A makeshift memorial at the site where five teenagers were killed in a solo car wreck on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
A makeshift memorial at the site where five teenagers were killed in a solo car wreck on Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
Ed Joyce/KPCC

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Update 5/30 | 3:oo p.m: Mayor: Car was likely going over 100 MPH

Newport Beach police are still investigating a horrific car crash that killed five teenagers on their way to the beach on Monday.

They've already identified speeding as a key factor.

Newport Beach mayor Keith Curry says he's heard the car could have been going almost twice the legal speed limit, which was 55 miles per hour.

"The police are still investigating the skid marks and the technical information there, so there's yet to be a final determination," Curry said.  "But I'm told it's likely to be in excess of 100 miles per hour." 

A spokeswoman for the police department says any reports about specific speeds are "anecdotal" at this point.

The 17-year-old driver of the car was unlicensed. 

Update 5/29 | 6:08 pm. : Driver didn't have license

The 17-year-old at the wheel during a horrific crash that killed him and four other teenagers Monday in Newport Beach was driving without a license.

It was a wreck so devastating that at first investigators thought two cars had been involved. The gray Infiniti G35 hit a tree in the center median at a speed that split the car in half. It landed in separate pieces on the road.

The driver, Abdulrahman Alyahyan, did not have a California license, according to DMV spokesman Artemio Armenta.

“The driver was not a California licensed driver,” Armenta said.  “He also didn’t have a learner’s permit.”

Alyahyan visited the DMV twice – most recently in February – and both times was rejected for a learner's permit, the spokesman said.

Alyahyan came from Saudi Arabia four years ago, and was not able to prove he was in the U.S. legally.

His application was pending. But even if it had been approved, he would not have been able to have other teenagers in the car because he was a minor.

“They’re not allowed to transport other passengers under the age of 20 unless they have a parent or guardian,” Armenta said. “That applies to all drivers during the first 12 months that they obtain their provisional license.”

Four of the five teenagers in the Infiniti attended Irvine High School. Classes resumed today for the first time since the crash. Two dozen grief counselors were brought in to help students.

“To go through the loss of the student in a school year is probably the most heartbreaking experience a school can go through,” said Irvine Unified School District spokesman Ian Hanigan. “To lose five students – four from the same high school – is just devastating.”

The Newport Beach police department is still investigating the crash. Investigators have already determined speeding was a key factor.