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UPDATE: Two dead in collision on I-5 identified

Victims were brother and sister

Posted: August 4, 2008 2:11 p.m.
Updated: October 6, 2008 5:01 a.m.

L.A. County emergency crews and California Highway Patrol officers prepare to remove the body of a woman killed when her Dodge Neon collided with a Ford F-350 truck on Interstate 5 in the Newhall Pass early Monday afternoon.

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A brother and sister were killed in a chain-reaction collision early Monday afternoon when her car and his motorcycle were struck from behind by a man's pickup truck on Interstate 5 in the Newhall Pass.

Alan J. Poggio, 23, and Lindsay Poggio, 22, both of Shafter, Calif., in Kern County, were confirmed dead at the scene by CHP Sgt. Matthew Hill as a result of the collision.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. Monday, three vehicles -- Alan Poggio's 2002 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle, Lindsay Poggio's 2000 Dodge Neon compact sedan and a 1999 Ford F-350 pickup truck driven by Ronald L. Benedetti, 50, of Littlerock, Calif. -- were involved in the collision.

The county Coroner was reportedly notified at 1:42 p.m., 22 minutes later.

CHP officers closed northbound I-5 for 45 minutes as emergency crews used hydraulic shears to separate the crumpled compact car from the truck's front end.

The body of the motorcyclist, covered with a white sheet by firefighters while efforts were made to disentangle the car from the truck, was found about 25 yards behind the motorcycle in the middle lane.

The freeway was re-opened to northbound traffic about 2:15 p.m., initially restricted to two lanes and the carpool lane.

Benedetti was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, according to the CHP.

By 2:30 p.m., Lindsay Poggio's body had been extricated from the Dodge Neon, and Los Angeles County Fire Department crews began checking the car's mangled wreckage to make sure there were no additional victims. They found none.

At least four men wearing uniforms and helmets who were working on the east shoulder of I-5 when the vehicles collided said they saw nothing.

"For reasons yet to be determined, Alan Poggio was standing alongside his 2002 Kawasaki motorcycle in the No. 4 lane of northbound Interstate 5, just north of the Balboa overcrossing," according to a statement released at 6:15 p.m. Monday by Sgt. Hill.

"His sister, Lindsay Poggio, was stopped in her 2000 Dodge Neon directly behind in the No. 4 lane with the vehicle's hazard lights activated.

"Ronald Benedetti approached the Poggios' location from the south at an estimated speed of approximately 65 in the No. 4 lane in his 1999 Ford F-350. Benedetti was unable to slow and/or stop his Ford and struck the rear of the Dodge," Sgt. Hill's report continues.

"The Dodge was pushed forward, striking Alan Poggio and his motorcycle, ejecting both (man and bike) onto the roadway to the north. The Ford continued in a northeasterly direction while pushing the Dodge.

"The Ford and the Dodge both traveled over the raised mediam into the truck bypass route and struck the concrete K-rail barrier, where both vehicles came to rest. Both Alan Poggio and his sister, Lindsay Poggio, were pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma."

Next of kin in Kern County was notified about 5 p.m. Monday, and alcohol is not considered to be a factor in the collision, according to Sgt. Hill's report.

Three flatbed tow trucks were used to haul away each of the vehicles involved.

The wrecks are expected to be examined by Officer E. Stayer, the CHP's investigating officer on this collision.

No charges have been filed as of late Tuesday afternoon.

See Wednesday's print edition of The Signal for further updates.

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