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UPDATE: 1 dead, 1 injured in solo car crash in Canyon Country

Adds that road was reopened, victims were brothers

Posted: July 10, 2012 9:30 a.m.
Updated: July 10, 2012 5:54 p.m.

A sheriff's investigator works the scene of a fatal crash on Soledad Canyon Road west of Camp Plenty Road in Canyon Country on Tuesday morning.

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 One man is dead and another clinging to life in a hospital following a single-car crash in Canyon Country on Tuesday, a local sheriff’s sergeant said.

About 6 a.m., a white compact car heading westbound on Soledad Canyon Road left the roadway near the bridge just west of Camp Plenty Road and veered into the center divider, sheriff’s officials said. It came to rest pinned against a tree in the center divider.

Initial reports indicated the car was likely speeding.

Killed in the crash was Luis Castillo, 20, of Canyon Country, said sheriff’s traffic Sgt. Rich Cohen. He was the passenger in the vehicle.

His brother, Anthony Hernandez, 24, of Canyon Country, was driving the vehicle, said Sgt. Darren Harris.

“The driver had to be extricated from the vehicle using the Jaws-of-Life,” Cohen said.

Hernandez was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Cohen said.

Soledad Canyon Road was shut down in both directions between Camp Plenty and Langside Avenue so an investigation into the fatal crash could be conducted. It was reopened at 11:10 a.m.

Skidmarks about 30 yards long were scrutinized by the station’s traffic investigator, Deputy Jeff Maag.

“The vehicle was westbound on Soledad when it lost control for unknown reasons,” Cohen said. “The car struck the center median and then, obviously, some trees and came to rest on a bigger tree.”

An Agua Dulce businessman was heading westbound on Soledad around 8:15 a.m. when he was caught in the traffic resulting in the road closure.

“It was just crazy,” said Matt Ridenour. “It was like New York City.” Ridenour was delayed a half hour as he cut through a shopping center parking lot to head out of the area.

Trees planted along the raised center median that were destroyed or damaged in the crash were chopped down and fed into a wood chipper by road crews.

The crumpled car, with its shattered front undercarriage enmeshed in tree branches, was loaded onto a flatbed truck and removed from the scene shortly after 10:30 a.m.

An official with the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner left the scene shortly at about the same time.
Investigators are looking for witnesses and are urging anyone who saw the crash this morning to call the station at 255-1121.





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