[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
50°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 25
1936 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "Modern Times," partially shot in SCV [story]


Man found alive Sept. 29 after crashing Sept. 23; he landed next to a second, earlier crash with dead occupant inside vehicle.
| Friday, Sep 30, 2011

Click image to enlarge

Lavau's blue Toyota Camry landed almost directly on top of the silver Corolla that was already at the bottom of the ravine.

Watch the video report: http://scvnews.com/?p=19994

———————

Two unrelated collisions in precisely the same remote mountain location northeast of Castaic have left one man dead and another man injured but alive after a week in the wilderness.

It’s a bizarre tale of tragedy and a remarkable story of survival rolled into one – with a family’s incredible tenacity mixed in for good measure.

A 66-year-old Lake Hughes man survived for six days at the bottom of a ravine by eating leaves and drinking water from a puddle in a mostly dry creek bed. All the while, his children and their spouses were retracing his steps, scouring every nook and cranny of Lake Hughes Road from Castaic to Lake Hughes in search of clues to their dad’s whereabouts.

Finally Thursday, Sept. 29, at about 6 p.m., Sean Lavau called out into a ravine at a hairpin turn on Lake Hughes Road, 1.5 miles south of the Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center.

Back came a faint cry for help.

He recognized the voice as that of his father, David J. Lavau.

“Mr. Lavau’s family is amazing,” CHP Officer John Lutz said. “I say that because they were diligent in the search for their father.”

Friday 2 p.m.: Deceased victim's Toyota Corolla emerges from the ravine.

Capt. Mark Savage of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said paramedics responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call from Lavau’s daughter-in-law. Fire fighters airlifted Lavau to the new helipad at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Savage said fire crews also rescued three of the man’s family members who had scampered down the steep cliff to reach him. Their dad was alert and had his bearings, according to a CHP report.

Lavau, a former Time Warner Cable employee in Palmdale, told emergency responders he went off the road at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, while en route home from the Castaic area. He said he was driving north on Lake Hughes Road when bright car headlights came at him from the opposite direction. He said he swerved to avoid the other vehicle, hit the soft dirt shoulder and slammed on his brakes – and over he went in his blue 2006 Toyota Camry.

He landed in the rocky creek bed, 500 feet down the cliff.

Friday noon: Lavau's Camry got stuck on the rocks as it was pulled from the ravine.

Lavau said he spent that Friday night inside the car and crawled out the next morning to find another car – a silver 4-door Toyota Corolla – immediately adjacent to his own. Inside it, a man was gripping the steering wheel. Lavau said it was clear the man had been dead “for some time,” according to the CHP report.

Lavau didn’t merely land “close” to the other car. Friday morning, it could be seen that the two cars were touching.

Lavau sustained moderate injures, and Lutz said Lavau also had a previous disability. One or both of those factors made it impossible for Lavau to climb out of the nearly sheer-sided ravine.

Obscured by cottonwoods and other trees and bushes, as well as a concrete retaining wall spanning the little creek, neither car was visible from the roadway – unless you stood in just the right spot and knew exactly what you were looking for.

Friday morning: Lake Hughes Road is blocked as Urban Search and Rescue crews prepare to retrieve the cars from the ravine to the right.

Lake Hughes Road remained closed from Friday morning to mid-afternoon as Urban Search and Rescue crews and private tow companies pulled out the two vehicles – a process that took more than two hours. Fire fighters stood by with a water hose in case the cars leaked fuel and caught fire on the way up. They didn’t.

Lavau’s Camry got stuck on the rocks as it was brought up first, its front end and roof completely smashed in, followed by the silver Corolla with the deceased victim still inside. The terrain was deemed too treacherous for coroner’s officials to rappel down to the crash site.

The dead man’s identity has not been released, and the circumstances of his crash are under investigation.

 

Click map to enlarge

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    SCV NewsBreak
    Loading...
    LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
    Friday, Feb 23, 2018
    Tip Leads to Arrest of 2 on Multiple Gun, Drug Charges
    Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man and a woman on multiple weapons and drug charges in Castaic early Thursday, according to station officials.
    Friday, Feb 23, 2018
    California Gubernatorial Candidates Take on Poverty, Gun Control
    Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.
    Friday, Feb 23, 2018
    March 21: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
    Santa Clarita Valley Water Company officials will hold a meeting of the company's Outreach and Legislation Committee on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1936 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "Modern Times," partially shot in SCV [story]
    1956 - Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray born in Los Angeles; later SCV resident & car dealer [story]
    Santa Clarita Studios debuted their new production offices to industry peers, business leaders and public officials on Friday.
    Santa Clarita Studios Scores ABC Show, Debuts New Production Offices
    The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is Wednesday, February 284 at the Administrative Center, 21380 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.
    Feb. 28: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
    California State University, Northridge’s Criminology and Justice Studies Department will host a discussion titled “Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    Feb. 27 CSUN Discussion: ‘Does More Immigration Mean More Crime?’
    Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man and a woman on multiple weapons and drug charges in Castaic early Thursday, according to station officials.
    Tip Leads to Arrest of 2 on Multiple Gun, Drug Charges
    The California Department of Education has released new guiding principles for teaching social and emotional skills, to help educators ensure students have the skills for success in school, careers and in the community.
    State Education Department Sets New Social Emotional Learning Guidelines
    Spring 2018 is an exciting time for composer, sound artist and CalArts alumna Ellen Reid (Music MFA 11) as two of her works make their debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.
    LACO, LA Master Chorale to Debut New Works by Ellen Reid
    LA-based artist and CalArts grad Edgar Arceneaux (Art MFA 01) performed his award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical work "Until, Until, Until…" in three sold-out shows this week in San Francisco.
    Edgar Arceneaux’s ‘Until, Until, Until…’ Sells Out 3 SF Performances
    CalArtians were out in full force at last month's 33rd annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which ran January 18-28.
    CalArts Well Represented at Sundance Film Festival 2018
    Four furry, four-legged detection devices assigned to the LA County Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Streets Bureau have been selected to receive tactical body armor.
    LASD ‘Safe Streets’ K9s to Get Protective Vests
    Gael García Bernal, Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel, Keala Settle, Sufjan Stevens and Oscar winner Common will perform this year's nominated songs at the 90th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 4.
    Academy Unveils 90th Oscars Song Performers Lineup
    Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in November debated in San Diego Thursday night how to maintain the Golden State’s strict gun laws and reduce poverty.
    California Gubernatorial Candidates Take on Poverty, Gun Control
    "SCVTV Presents: An Evening With New West" Friday, February 23 at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall as the award-winning trio brings their signature brand of Western ballads, story songs and cowboy swing to entertain fans in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Feb. 23: SCVTV to Present ‘Evening With New West’ at MAIN
    Santa Clarita Valley Water Company officials will hold a meeting of the company's Outreach and Legislation Committee on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
    March 21: SCV Water Public Outreach, Legislation Committee Meeting
    The 40th annual St. Clare Lenten Fish Fry charity fundraiser continues at the Canyon Country church on Friday, February 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and for the next four Friday evenings.
    Feb. 23: St. Clare 40th Annual Lenten Fish Fry for Charity
    A 17-year-old West Ranch High School student was arrested Thursday and charged with making criminal threats on social media.
    West Ranch Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
    California's and New Mexico's Attorneys General, together with the California Air Resources Board, have secured a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's suspension of the methane gas Waste Prevention Rule.
    Judge Blocks Feds’ Suspension of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
    Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station pulled over a vehicle on Castaic Lake Road for a traffic violation on Tuesday afternoon and discovered the male adult passenger had a $30,000 warrant out for his arrest.
    Man Arrested for Warrant, Alleged ID Theft in Castaic
    DMV investigators issued 29 misdemeanor citations during an enforcement operation in Sun Valley and Pacoima on February 22 aimed at combating unlicensed vehicle dismantlers.
    DMV Cites Unlicensed Vehicle Dismantlers in Sunland, Pacoima
    The 10 year anniversary of the Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration will take place Saturday Feb. 24th, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at Val Verde Park.
    Feb. 24: Val Verde African American Heritage Celebration
    1998 - Worst day of record-setting 1997-98 El Nino storm season [story]
    A Spring Concert with the Golden Valley High School Jazz Band will be held at the school's theater Sunday, Mar. 25.
    Mar. 25: Golden Valley High School Jazz Band Spring Concert
    Hidden cultural gems from Mexico and El Salvador will be uncovered during a lecture series at California State University, Northridge, hosted by the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center.
    CSUN Lecture Series to Highlight Hidden Cultural Gems
    The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's Engineering Committee will be meeting on Thursday, Mar. 1, at 5:30 p.m.
    March 1: SCV Water Agency Engineering Committee Meeting
    The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its Regular Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 6:00 p.m.
    Feb. 27: City Council Regular Meeting
    The Sulphur Springs Union School District was recognized Wednesday evening with the Operation School Bell Award given by the National Assistance League.
    Sulphur Springs Schools Lauded by Assistance League
    Earlier today, the Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School was on lockdown as deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station investigated an unconfirmed threat. The lockdown has since been lifted and a 15-year-old suspect was charged with making Criminal Threats. The following is a breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
    SCVi Charter Student Charged with Making Criminal Threats
    Carousel Ranch Raising Funds for “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” Annual Giving Campaign Carousel Ranch, a place where children with special needs discover and experience some of their greatest achievements through equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, is reaching out to the donor community during its “Carousel Wishes and Valentine Kisses” annual giving campaign.
    Carousel Ranch Seeks to Fund Scholarships for Wait-List Students
    College of the Canyons has added more than 100 late-start classes to its spring 2018 semester class schedule to accommodate the needs of working students.
    Spring Brings More Late-Start Class Options to COC
    Deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are currently investigating an unconfirmed threat at the Santa Clarita Valley International School.
    Lockdown Lifted at SCVi Charter School
    The kids are back for Season Six of Masterchef Junior, featuring award-winning chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi, as well as the return of fan-favorite judge Joe Bastianich.
    Newhall Student Vies for Apron on Masterchef Junior
    The William S. Hart Baseball Complex was vandalized early Sunday morning. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station was able to apprehend the suspect with the help of surveillance video. Here is the breakdown from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station.
    Suspect Detained in Connection with Vandalism at Hart Baseball Field
    LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
    1983 - Armed robber taken out at Alpha Beta supermarket on Lyons [story]
    The Master's University Mustangs baseball team added to their recent string of come-from-behind wins with a 9-5 comeback win over the University of Antelope Valley at Master's.
    Mustangs Rally Again, This Time Against Antelope Valley