Woman Dies, Teen Injured in La Tuna Canyon Crash

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 |

On Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 8:46 AM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one LAFD Heavy Rescue and one EMS Battalion Captain under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva responded to a Civilian Fatality Traffic Collision near 9258 La Tuna Canyon Road in La Tuna Canyon.

Firefighters arrived quickly two miles 'south' of the Foothill Freeway to find a collision between a compact sedan and a compact sport utility vehicle.

Fatal Traffic Collision in La Tuna Canyon. Click to enlarge and view more...


The 31 year-old female driver and sole occupant of the sedan was badly trapped in the wrecakge and had sustained massive crushing traumatic injuries incompatible with life. She was declared deceased at the scene.

The 17 year-old male driver and sole occupant of the sport utility vehicle sustained unspecified non-life threatening injuries. In fair condition, he was transported by LAFD Paramedics to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

A cursory evaluation indicated that the woman and teen were both wearing seat belts and that their supplemental air bag restraint systems had deployed during the collision.

No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters remained at the scene for more than one hour to assist Los Angeles Police Officers, and later returned to assist the Coroner's Office with the dolorous task of disentangling the woman from the wreckage in a discrete and dignified manner.

The Los Angeles Police Department will be handling the collision investigation, while officials from the Coroner's Office will seek to positively identify the decedent as well as determine the exact cause, time and manner of her death.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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12 comments:

La Tuna Resident said...

It's not uncommon for vehicles to travel 70 to 80 to 90 mph along many stretches of the more remote parts of La Tuna Canyon, including where this accident happened. The LAPD has been unresponsive to requests for speed traps. Judging by the damage to the smaller vehicle, someone was moving at a high rate of speed.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Dear La Tuna resident,

Our friends at the LAPD tell us that speed is often a key factor in traffic collisions.

To inquire about specific law and traffic enforcment issues in your neighborhood, please call 3-1-1 and ask to be connected with your (Foothill) Community Police Station.

The Officers at Foothill, along with those assigned to Valley Traffic, should be able to clarify their current operations, and also work with you in addressing issues of community concern.

As for the damage to the vehicles... we have yet to hear a specific cause of Tuesday's collision from Police Department Investigators, and can tell you (from our longstanding but untrained observation) that images many only tell part of the story.

Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the woman who died, and we wish the young man who was injured a prompt return to wellness.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, I noticed a cross and an mini-memorial off to the side of the road on La Tuna Canyon and found this blog detailing what happened. What a tragedy!

I take the road every morning to work and on my way back home to Altadena, and I observe every day vehicles going 65-75 MPH (40MPH is the posted speed limit), and I hardly ever see any law enforcement out there. If they were present on this road between 7:30am - 8:30am and 5pm - 6:30pm, they'd cite a lot of folks, and honestly they should spend more time catching these speeders.

In looking at the crash photos, I think it's a fair statement that speed was a factor in causing the fatality.

Longtime friend said...

In deed this was a terible tragedy. I have known the recently deceased, for a very long time (22 years), as we went to school together beginning in 5th grade. She was a wonderful woman full of glow and always had a bright smile on her face. My heart goes out to her husband and family.

I believe that speed was a factor in her death and carelessness as well on part of the minor from what I have been told.

Whatever happened to the minor after the accident? I heard from someone that he was charged with vehicular man sluaghter. Is this true?

At some point, the flow of traffic, preferably vehicle speed, needs to be considered as far as traveling through this rather treacherous stretch of highway. Not only for drivers but for the people that live in the area as well.

The Crescenta Valley has lost one of its all around good people as she will forever be missed.

Longtime friend
12/22/06 :'-(

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

longtime friend,

Please accept our condolences. We hope that our on-line mention of the incident, though graphic, will cause others to consider the need to always drive safely. If we can work together to save but one life...

As Firefighters and Paramedics, we are not intimately involved in collision investigations or any criminal and civil complaints that may follow.

Our friends at the Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division are good place to start with your formal inquiry - and also a great place to express your concerns about safe driving paractices in that region.

Again, our condolences in the loss of your long-time friend. May her husband and family draw solace from your memories and support, and may we all drive more carefully in light of what has happened.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

The female victim in this horrific tragedy was an angel on earth, and is now an angel in heaven. This devastation has left an enormous void in the lives of everyone who knew her. Her smile was contagious. Her thoughtfulness was unsurpassed. This Christmas has been filled with heartache, sadness and immeasurable pain. She will be missed forever.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

We indeed welcome those who knew those involved in this incident to share their personal thoughts and memories.

To avoid spam, each comment is held for review and approved for publication at our earliest opportunity.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I live on La Tuna Canyon and it seems the accidents are happening more often. Everytime I hear the sirens going up the canyon I phone my sons, when they are not home, to make sure they are safe. I get such an unesy feeling when I hear the fire trucks, because I know as they're passing by my home. some innocent person is hurt because someone else neglected to adhere to MPH on the road.

Speed bumps would slow down traffic and save lives

Anonymous said...

Today is the 1 year anniversary of this tragic day. I keep a picture on my desk top of Michelle as a reminder of the great friend I lost, and of the carelessness of the 17, now 18, year old driver who probly only received a slap on the hand to go along with minor injuries.
Although I don't wish harm to anyone, I do wish to know how this youg man is doing a year later after the tragedy he has caused!!

Long time fried :'-(

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Long Time Friend 4:05,

It's clearly impossible for any of us to completely understand or fully appreciate your personal loss, especially at this sad anniversary. Kindly accept our continuing condolence.

Your sentiments are always welcome here, and we hope that through your words, the young man involved will be inspired to do some of the many thoughtful and kind-hearted things so often described as inherent to your friend.

If you need to speak with someone and share your understandable concern and grief, please do not hesitate to seek personal guidance and support through our friends at 2-1-1 LA.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I drive this road daily and speed is the scapegoat here. It is clearly "lane dicipline" that is the problem. Nearly every day I have to honk my horn at the person next to me because he is corner cutting and forcing me into either oncoming traffic or the ditch. Drivers of large vehicles like SUV's need to realize they are driving TRUCKs and they must slow down if they cannot stay in their lane. As for the people driving cars and crossing into the next lane. . . I really don't know. Since we refuse to really train drivers, then perhaps Botz Dots could make a difference in keeping people in their lanes.
I hope everyone gets the point here. No matter how fast or slow you go, if you cross the lines at just the wrong moment for any reason, there will be a colision.

Anonymous said...

I loved Michelle so much!!! She was a coworker of my mothers and whenever I would come to the office Michelle was always the first person I wanted to see!!! I can remember my mom freaking out because she hadnt come in that morning and later that day she called and told me the horrible news!!! It was a tragic day!!!!

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