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Castaic Teenager Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Taylor LaKamp, 15, dead after off-road collision in Kern County.

Posted: February 20, 2008 3:41 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.
A Castaic teenager was killed in a motorcycle crash near California City during a midair collision with another motorcycle also driven by a teen, officials and family members said Tuesday.

Taylor LaKamp, 15, of Castaic visited the desert city for Presidents' Day holiday weekend to off-road with other motorcyclists. He was killed when he was hit in the chest by another motorcycle.

LaKamp's death follows those of two other young men killed in motorcycle crashes in the Santa Clarita Valley over the past month.

The Castaic youth and about 20 other people headed out to California City on Friday; LaKamp planned to go off-roading with his 2004 Honda 420 motorcycle. According to Sgt. Eric Hurtado of the California City Police Department, LaKamp was riding his motorcycle Sunday with another 15-year-old male he met earlier that morning.

His grandfather, James Degnan of Castaic, told The Signal that LaKamp suffered from massive lung compression and heart damage after colliding head-on with the front tire and wheel of the other motorcycle.
LaKamp was a sophomore at West Ranch High School. He was an avid skateboarder and motorcycle rider, spending many hours riding with his brother and father at several desert locations.

"Taylor was always the kindest, funniest and quickest kid," his grandfather said. "I can't believe how many phone calls we have received. He had a lot of friends."

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, both motorcyclists were jumping a dirt berm when LaKamp jumped in the opposite direction of the other teen. They met in midair. According to witnesses, the motorcycle was traveling between 40 miles per hour and 50 mph when it hit LaKamp. Both teens wore helmets, officials reported.

The collision happened near Randsburg-Mojave Road, six miles east of Twenty Mule Team Road.
According to a statement released by the Kern County Sheriff's Department, LaKamp was taken to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield by helicoptor, where he died about an hour after the accident.

The other teen, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries. The accident is still being investigated.
Internment services will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary, 23287 N. Sierra Highway, Newhall.


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