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Three minors injured in vehicle accident on north Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of El Rancho and Antenna Roads on north Vandenberg at about 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of El Rancho and Antenna Roads on north Vandenberg at about 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of El Rancho and Antenna Roads on north Vandenberg at about 4 p.m Sunday, April 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of El Rancho and Antenna Roads on north Vandenberg at about 4 p.m Sunday, April 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident near the intersection of El Rancho and Antenna Roads on north Vandenberg at about 4 p.m. April 24.

One individual was flown to Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital and the other two were sent by ambulance to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria. All three were minor, dependent children of base personnel; names and conditions of the injured will not be released.

Witnesses positively identified the vehicle as having been at Vandenberg's Minuteman Beach before the accident occurred. When returning to the main base area, the driver apparently lost control of her Chevrolet Cobalt when rounding a corner near a bridge spanning railroad tracks on north base. The car then hit and went through a guard rail at the point where the roadway meets the bridge, sending the car about 70 feet down a steep embankment before coming to a stop. All were able to get out of the vehicle, which ignited and burned out. Vandenberg firefighters extinguished the fire, which did not spread beyond the vehicle.

"They are extremely fortunate to be alive," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Cox, the accident investigator.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. The driver of the vehicle earned a provisional California driver's license about a month ago, according to investigators. As such, the driver was still restricted per California state law from transporting passengers under 20 years old when not accompanied by a parent, guardian or other licensed driver age 25 or older.