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UPDATE: Crash kills two COC football players, seriously injures a third

Posted: August 23, 2014 3:08 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2014 3:08 p.m.

Two young men who played football at College of the Canyons were killed Friday night when a 2005 Nissan 300Z they were riding in crashed into a van on San Fernando Road in Sylmar, police and college officials said Saturday.

Isaiah Hastings, 19, of Lancaster, and Alexander Manu, 18, of Reseda died in the 7:30 p.m. crash near Sunshine Canyon.

A third young man, Eldridge Salguero, 18, of Van Nuys, who was driving the black Nissan, was seriously injured in the collision and was taken to a hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division said in a news release.

Investigators said the Nissan was traveling southbound on San Fernando Road when it lost control and swerved into the northbound lanes and collided with a silver 2013 Honda Odyssey van.

All three young men played on the football team at College of the Canyons, the college said in a statement.

A 44-year-old Castaic woman, identified as Suh Min Kyung, who was driving the van, was injured in the crash, along with her 11-year-old passenger. Both suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, Valley Traffic investigators said in a news release.

College of the Canyons officials expressed shock and sadness over the deaths.

“We’re grieving the loss of two student‐athletes whose lives and potential were tragically  cut short,” College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said in a statement.

Van Hook last week delivered her  annual pre­‐season address to members of the football team.

“This was a special group of young men who clearly understood the power of teamwork,” she said in the statement. “Isaiah, Alexander and Eldridge had already distinguished themselves during their short time with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and we’re hoping for the best for Eldridge.”

All three players came to College of the Canyons from Birmingham Community Charter High School in Van Nuys, college officials said.

Hastings played running back and was in his first year with College of the Canyons. He was a former All City Player of the Year at Birmingham.      

“We’re just devastated,” said College of the Canyons head football coach Ted Iacenda. “Our team came together in a unique way over the summer, and the loss of Isaiah and Alexander leaves a void that I can’t begin to describe. We’re grieving for their  families, and staying positive for Eldridge.”    

Iacenda described Hastings as a quiet, serious player with an electric smile.

“He didn’t say much,” Iacenda said. “But he didn’t need to. He was a tremendous player, and his game said everything.”  

Manu, a defensive lineman, was “larger than life in every sense,” Iacenda said. “Big hair.  Big body. Big smile. He was one of those personalities where everyone on the team knew him, liked him and gravitated toward him because of his demeanor.”      

Salguero, a defensive back on the COC team, is the  type of player who demonstrates leadership on an off the field, Iacenda said in the statement.

“Besides being a tremendous football player, he is always on top of everything he needs to take care of as a student.”

Valley Traffic officials said earlier reports that the Nissan might have been racing against another vehicle when it crashed were not true.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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