Two Newhall teenagers died and two others sustained major injuries in a single-vehicle collision late Saturday night on Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic.
The crash was reported at 11:39 p.m. on the stretch of Hasley Canyon Road that runs perpendicular to Commerce Center Drive.
Carlos Hernandez, 28, was driving a dark blue 1999 Ford Explorer eastbound on Hasley, approaching Commerce Center, when he lost control of his vehicle. California Highway Patrol officers believe he had been drinking.
The Explorer hopped the curb, crashed through a white plastic guard rail and sailed along a raised, landscaped embankment where it slammed into a number of trees and appeared to have cart-wheeled. It was totally demolished when it came to a rest on the inclined embankment.
All three of Hernandez’s passengers were unrestrained, according to a CHP report.
Dead at the scene were the two rear-seat passengers – Richard Lagunas, 19, and Kevin Sanchez, 16, both of Newhall. CHP Officer Kevin Pack said their bodies remained inside the vehicle.
The right-front passenger, Gustavo Lagunas, 17, also of Newhall, was ejected but he survived.
The driver, Hernandez, was wearing his seat belt and remained in his seat. Hernandez and Gustavo Lagunas were transported by ambulance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
The crash remains under investigation. “Alcohol is considered to be a contributing factor,” the CHP report states. Hernandez was placed under arrest.
Pack did not estimate how fast the Explorer was going but said it had been traveling at “a significant rate of speed.” Weather conditions were misty and Pack noted that the roadway was wet at the time of the collision.