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High rate of speed likely a cause of Canyon Country fatal crash

‘People need to slow down,’ investigator says

Posted: July 11, 2012 1:30 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2012 1:30 p.m.


The car in Tuesday’s traffic fatality on Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country was traveling as much as 30 mph over the speed limit when it crashed, a witness told investigators in the case.

The witness reported seeing the westbound compact car cross the bridge at Camp Plenty Road going about 75 to 80 mph, said Jeff Maag, traffic investigator with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

The witness also said the car lost control after swerving around another car traveling in the middle lane, Maag said Wednesday.

“This witness believes he swerved around another car in the westbound lane and lost control,” the investigator said.
The speed limit in the area is 50 mph, and Maag said deputies sometimes see speeds of 60 to 65 mph in the area. But more than 75 mph is unusual, he said.

The stretch of road follows an S-curve and has seen a lot of collisions, Maag said.

“There were a lot of skids there,” he said, adding that the fresh skid marks from Tuesday’s collision crossed older ones. “That curb’s been hit a lot.”

The skid marks from Tuesday’s collision stretched about 30 yards long, according to initial reports.

Two Canyon Country brothers were in the white, older-model Acura Integra about 6 a.m. Tuesday when the car left the roadway near the bridge just west of Camp Plenty Road and veered trees in the center divider.

The passenger, 20-year-old Luis Castillo, was killed in the crash. The passenger’s brother and the driver of the Acura, 24-year-old Anthony Hernandez, suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said Tuesday.

Maag said he didn’t have information on the driver’s condition Wednesday. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital officials did not immediately return phone calls asking for the driver’s condition.

Although blood was drawn from Hernandez, Maag said there isn’t any evidence drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision. The conditions were dry and clear, and the hot weather Tuesday should have provided better traction, he said.

The investigation was continuing Wednesday, but “With all the fatals we’ve had, things are obvious,” Maag said. “People need to slow down.”




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