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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
79°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 23
1931 - Fall Roundup held at Hoot Gibson's Saugus Rodeo [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
    Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
    Authorities Seek Suspect in Valencia Kidnapping Attempt
    At approximately 10:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to a call of an attempted kidnapping that occurred on the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and McBean Parkway in Valencia.
    Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
    California AG, 10 More AG’s Blast Feds’ Plan to Hike National Park Fees
    A coalition of attorneys general on Wednesday called the Trump administration’s plan to hike entry fees at national parks a “cruel deception,” contending higher prices could force Americans to choose between “beauty and or bread.”
    Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
    CLWA Water Resources Committee Meeting Rescheduled for Dec. 12
    The Castaic Lake Water Agency's Water Resources Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 6 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 12.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a Special and its Regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 28 at City Hall/City Council Chambers located at 23920 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, 91355.
    Nov. 28: City Council Special, Regular Meetings
    Members of the fraternal organization are called Clampers, and the chapter presidents are given the ceremonial title of Noble Grand Humbug. They claim their purpose is to be a historical drinking society or a drinking historical society, the debate over which has never been resolved.
    Clamping the Desert | By Linda Castro
    1931 - Fall Roundup held at Hoot Gibson's Saugus Rodeo [story]
    The Los Angeles Dodgers have unveiled their 33-game 2018 Spring Training schedule, beginning on Friday, Feb. 23 against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch – Glendale in Arizona.
    Dodgers Unveil 2018 Spring Training Schedule
    TMU coach Kelvin Starr’s to-do list was relatively simple entering Tuesday night’s 108-58 win over visiting Westcliff University.
    7 Mustangs Score in Double Figures in Runaway Win
    No. 3 College of the Canyons women's volleyball team defeated No. 14 Golden West College 3-1 in the opening round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs on Tuesday.
    No. 3 Canyons Wins First Round Playoff Matchup vs. No. 14 Golden West
    At approximately 10:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to a call of an attempted kidnapping that occurred on the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and McBean Parkway in Valencia.
    Authorities Seek Suspect in Valencia Kidnapping Attempt
    A coalition of attorneys general on Wednesday called the Trump administration’s plan to hike entry fees at national parks a “cruel deception,” contending higher prices could force Americans to choose between “beauty and or bread.”
    California AG, 10 More AG’s Blast Feds’ Plan to Hike National Park Fees
    The Castaic Lake Water Agency's Water Resources Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 6 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 12.
    CLWA Water Resources Committee Meeting Rescheduled for Dec. 12
    The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold its next meeting via teleconference on Thursday, November 30 at 10:30 a.m.
    Nov. 30: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference
    Here is the public safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for Nov. 6-19, 2017.
    Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Robbery Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
    Coroner's officials have identified the victim of a deadly crash near Chatsworth Tuesday as Santa Clarita Valley resident Jose Sanchez, 60.
    Coroner IDs SCV Victim Killed in Chatsworth Crash
    In November, the Santa Clarita Auto Dealers Association has co-sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner at the SCV Boys & Girls Club and the "Light Up Main Street" event in Old Town Newhall.
    Santa Clarita Auto Dealers Association Gives Back this Holiday Season
    Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is seeking help from the public to identify an injured man, hospitalized since a Nov. 18 accident in Van Nuys.
    Providence Holy Cross Medical Center Seeks ID of Injured Man
    More than 250 agencies donated their efforts to help support and raise money for the City of Hope as part of the 2017 “Pink Patch Project,” and the agencies donated $325K to fight breast cancer.
    LASD, Local Agencies Donate $325K to City of Hope
    Santa Clarita Valley veterans organizations will host the 12th annual Military Honor Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Saturday, December 2 at 5 p.m.
    Dec. 2: Annual Military Honor Christmas Tree Lighting
    The city of Santa Clarita will host a 30th-anniversary open house on the city’s official birthday, December 15, at City Hall from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Dec. 15: Santa Clarita Birthday Bash at City Hall
    The community is invited to join state Assemblyman Dante Acosta at Santa Clarita Valley International to celebrate a $5,000 educational grant awarded to SCVi by the Barona Band of Mission Indians on Monday, November 27 at 10 a.m.
    Nov. 27: Acosta, Community Leaders Celebrate Grant Received by SCVi
    The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Kathryn Barger on Tuesday to extend the county’s Winter Shelter Program by an additional month -- through March 31, 2018
    County OK’s Plan to Extend Winter Homeless Shelter Program
    Two men were arrested and booked on drug and other charges by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's detectives on a night patrol in Canyon Country Sunday.
    Night Patrol Nets 2 Suspects on Bikes
    1843 - Rancho Castec (Lebec-Tejon area) granted to French immigrant Jose Covarrubias [story]
    Award-winning Deaf culture advocate, producer, choreographer and dancer Antoine Hunter (Dance 02) won an award at the 2017 San Francisco Dance Film Festival (SFDFF) last month.
    CalArts Alum Wins ‘Best Student Film’ at 2017 SF Dance Film Festival
    Several young adults with special needs from Carousel Ranch’s Ready to Work! (RTW!) program will be joining Martha Aguilara and Kokolita’s in preparing more than 1000 Thanksgiving meals for those in need.
    Carousel Ranch Ready to Work Students, Kokolita’s Join to Prepare Thanksgiving Meals
    The College of the Canyons Model United Nations Club (COCMUN) received the highest award presented Sunday at a conference in Santa Barbara.
    COC Model UN Awarded “Best Large Delegation” at UCSB Conference
    The McKeon Leadership Forum is a speaker series that promotes civic engagement and reminds every citizen that a healthy democracy requires personal involvement.
    Nov. 30: McKeon Leadership Forum Presents General Richard A. Cody
    Tempe Hale (Film/Video MFA 14) and Ambar Navarro (Film/Video BFA 15), both graduates of CalArts Experimental Animation Program, premiered their new music video for Detroit-based artist Stef Chura on DIY Magazine.
    Detroit-based Artist Collaborates with CalArtians on Music Video
    Carroll of Montana has proven it can play at multiple tempos and be successful.
    Lady Mustangs’ Up-Tempo Play Enough to Best Fighting Saints 74-64
    Here is a list of two family-friendly holiday events that will be held at NorthPark Community Church:
    NorthPark Community Church to hold Christmas Cafe, Cookies With Santa
    Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for the week of Nov. 24 - Nov.26:
    Nov. 24-26: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
    1967 - Local voters approve formation of community college and elect COC's first five-member board - Dr. William G. Bonelli Jr., Bruce Fortine, Sheila Dyer, Peter Huntsinger, Edward Muhl [story]
    After winning the program's seventh consecutive conference championship and dropping just two matches throughout the regular season, the College of the Canyons women's soccer season came to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon.
    COC Playoff Run Ends With Loss Against Pierce
    FRESNO, Calif. — College of the Canyons sophomore Díani Ellis capped a remarkable Cougar career by establishing a new school record time of 18:32.1 on the 5K course at Woodward Park to place fifth overall at the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships on Saturday.
    COC Women’s Cross Country Ends Season With 8th Place Finish at State Championships
    No. 5 College of the Canyons earned its first Bowl Game win of the Ted Iacenda era, downing No. 6 Mt. San Antonio College 28-16 in the 2017 Western State Bowl at Cougar Stadium on Saturday night.
    Cougars 2017 Western State Bowl Champions
    Castaic Middle School parents, students and teachers are celebrating after a surprise announcement was made that the school won a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance as a part of the nationwide “Thank America’s Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge.”
    Farmer’s Insurance Awards Castaic Middle School $100K Grant After Nationwide Contest