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Four injured in rollover crash

CHP officer suspects alcohol played a role

Posted: December 13, 2008 8:43 p.m.
Updated: December 14, 2008 4:59 a.m.

California Highway Patrol officers, Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics attend to an ejected crash victim, one of four people riding in a Honda Civic that rolled over just off Interstate 5 north of Hasley Canyon Road Saturday morning.

Ambulances transported four men to a local hospital Saturday morning after a Palcido Hernandez of Santa Paula lost control of his Honda Civic and the car flipped over the southbound edge of the Interstate 5 freeway just north of Hasley Canyon Road.

The Honda lay upside down and mangled over wire fencing between freeway lanes and The Old Road.

Trash, glass shards, empty Budweiser cans, blankets and bloodied materials spilled out of the car and were strewn over the surrounding area.

"It looks like it's alcohol-related," California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Cisek said.

The CHP is investigating whether Hernandez, 27, was driving under the influence, CHP Sgt. Rick Miler said.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's deputy Maria Abal said one passenger claimed something happened to the tire, causing the driver to lose control and flip over.

"The driver was pinned in when I got here," she said. "He was the only one still in the car. There was another passenger who I'm assuming must have got ejected ... he was lying over (to the side)."

Keith Wood of Elko, Nev., was on his way to Simi Valley but stopped to help when he saw dust settling from the rollover.

"When I came on the scene, there was one person who stopped to help the trapped victim try to stay still," Wood said.

The driver's face was all "chewed up," he said.

"When the first deputy showed up, I started directing traffic," Wood said. "You do what you can do in a case like this."

Traffic slowed in both directions on The Old Road but officers tried to keep a steady flow.

The passengers and driver apparently work in Castaic and were on their way home to Santa Paula, Abal said.

The crash victims were taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial and Holy Cross hospitals for lacerations to the head, Cisek said.

Miler confirmed one passenger was ejected and suffered a broken leg.

Names of the other three victims were not available Saturday afternoon.


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