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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
74°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 20
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]


| Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012

People gather Wednesday morning at the site of the crash that killed Dakota Demott, 19.

Red the original story about Tuesday night’s collision here => http://scvnews.com/?p=24512

 

The Demott family is grieving the loss of their 19-year old son, Dakota, after last night’s fatal collision on Sand Canyon Road at Alamo Canyon Drive.

Friends gather at the site to try and make sense of the tragedy. Another family prays for their son’s recovery from life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.

But there are other victims who must deal with the aftermath of an accident such as Tuesday night’s horrific crash.

Ken and Nancy Fisher own the house on the corner of Sand Canyon Road and Alamo Canyon Drive. It’s halfway between Soledad Canyon and Placerita Canyon, not too far from a curve and right on a straightaway.

Tuesday’s accident was the seventh crash in the couple’s 16 years of living on the corner and so far, had the worst outcome.

The posted speed limit at that part of Sand Canyon Road is 45 miles per hour. Sheriff’s officials said that the vehicle involved in the crash was traveling at a high rate of speed.

Ken Fisher was one of the first people at the scene. He saw the driver in the car convulsing and moaning, and the passenger who had been thrown out, the impact of his body knocking down Fisher’s front yard fence. As he attempted to render aid, he said cars sped by him as he screamed for them to stop.

The chaos resulting from the single-vehicle crash has put him and his family on the edge and they want something done about it. Even though they have a meeting set up with Mayor Laurie Ender and City Manager Ken Pulskamp, they’re not sure anything is going to change.

“Nobody should have to see dead bodies and broken people and broken cars,” he said. We just finished the last incident and now this has happened again.”

The last incident happened in September, when Nathan Wolitarsky, a promising shotputter from Canyon High headed for UCLA on a track scholarship, lost control of his car and plowed into the same tree hit by the car Tuesday night.

Fisher heard the crash and was first on the scene to help the young athlete. He put out a fire that started beneath Wolitarsky’s car and, after seeing the extent of his injuries, offered comfort until paramedics arrived.

The tree as it appeared Wednesday morning, with debris from Tuesday night's fatal collision

Wolitarsky was reportedly traveling upwards of 100 miles per hour. His injuries were severe, but he has survived and recently visited Fisher to thank him for saving his life.

“I told him that what he had done to himself, there were a thousand other ways we could have been introduced, but he involved us,” Fisher said. “If I helped, then (I asked him to) be an advocate, tell his friends and other people what happened to him. I know that he can’t reach everybody, but perhaps someone down the line would listen.”

Wolitarsky is using a walker now and has scars on his knees and face, reminding him of his close call. He’s due to start UCLA in September 2013.

Fisher said that he’s been knocking on the doors of anyone who will listen to get the speed limit changed or some sort of safety mitigation at that corner, but has only been rewarded with frustration.

“Nobody comes out of their houses,” he said. “And when they talk about changing the speed limit, people in the canyon don’t want it changed because it affects their lifestyle.”

Tests done after the Wolitarsky crash didn’t reveal anything wrong with the street itself. But city officials can’t be responsible for reckless drivers, especially young drivers who consider themselves invincible.

Fisher cited incidents of road rage, speeding motorcycles, drag racing and of course, speeding.

“The worst time is after the midnight hour,” he said. “I tell the sheriff about this repeatedly. I’m trying to get some statistics related to traffic accidents, because there are constantly sirens in this canyon.”

The first accident at that corner involved a car that went through the chain link fence, taking out 15 feet of fencing before fleeing. The next involved a van that went out of control and sheared off a fire hydrant right across the street, late at night.

The third happened in the middle of the day; the driver of a car making a left turn panicked, hitting the brakes and fishtailing, hitting Fisher’s tree.

An out-of-control Volvo left a deep gouge in the oak tree, along with a bumper and other vehicle debris before leaving without so much as a note.

Incident number five was preceded by sirens and helicopters; a car being pursued hit they hydrant, creating a geyser that rained down on all the deputies with their guns drawn.

Last night, Fisher was on the phone when he heard the sound of crunching and scraping of metal on pavement. Running out, he saw the carnage and was overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness, frustration and a passion to see things changed.

“I saw a cloud of dust, even though it was pitch black, and I called 911,” he recalled. “I was screaming to person on the other end that this happened before. I was out of my mind.”

The Fishers have raised three sons in the home at the corner of Sand and Alamo. He remembers worrying about their safety as they walked to the bus stop and says he continues to worry about them driving in the canyon. Above all, he worries about the people who continue to lose a grip on their common sense when they get behind the wheel on Sand Canyon.

“My oldest son’s getting married in our backyard in June. It’s going to be an evening wedding, so of course, I have concerns. Nothing seems to get done. Now we have death on our property. How we get past this, nobody knows.”

“This is a curve that goes right into a straightaway,” he continued. “It’s also a place where there’s a strip for cyclists and a walking horse trail. But it seems to be ungoverned and the issue swept under the carpet. How many people will have to die before anyone takes notice? I want a bigger voice.”

In the meantime, he and his wife are dealing with the debris left behind, which he likened to a war zone.

“There’s a dead man’s blood on the fence and ground, gloves, syringes, triage supplies they left behind. I understand that we have to give the families some space, but what about us? You have to think of the other side. We’re living a nightmare so soon after the other one. We know it’s going to happen again and again.”

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.

10 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please have them consider putting speed bumps along the street. Even if the kids continue to speed it will force them to slow down as they go over them…It has helped immensely in other areas.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to say that is in no way only kids speeding. Adults race up and down Sand Canyon way above the 45 mile per hour speed limit.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need to change the laws if the victim was not obeying them in the first place.

    • Ashley Clark says:

      f that yes they should follow the law but if there are other measures to be taken it should be done. u dont agree just so u dont have to deal with the hassel youre stupid it will help save lives u heartless soul. thats my best friends brother!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have always wished the speed limit would be reduced to 35 miles per hour. Plus, if there were a couple of stop signs strategically placed so that drivers could not build up a lot of speed as they drove on Sand Canyon it might slow everyone down a bit.

  4. Michelle Lea says:

    I think stop signs and speed bumps should be place all along there. There is such a big span that these people can pick up speed, and yes its just not kids that are speeding its adults to. I feel for these two families, but I hope and pray that this kid has learned his lesson that he killed his friend by been so careless. Two many of these kids get their cars and think that they can show off. I pray for these families.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i was just driving through here this morning. and a BMW sped right past me doing about 65, some ignorant lady… tail gating some huge truck in front of her… learn to have some respect driving down that road, also the occasional Neil Armstrong Bikers, find a new place to hog the road, its only a 2 lane road… my dog almost died by trying to swerve out of the way of these ammature riders, he suffered major injuries. and they didnt even stop!!!

    speed bumps, reduced speed… whatever helps. and works. use catution… the road is filled with reckless drivers. slow down.

  6. mommywisdom says:

    I live in Canyon Country and go to Sand Canyon often for horseback riding in the area. It always shocked me the speed limit of 45mph in the area. It’s a residential area, with kids, horses, and lots of wild animals that cross the street. It’s an unique and beautiful area of Santa Clarita where wilderness blends harmoniously with residences – except for Sand Canyon highway speeding cars!!! I say absolutely reduce speed limit to at least 35mph on Sand Canyon, and place a sheriff’s car on to enforce the speed limit on a regular basis. Maybe if people drive slower they’ll learn to appreciate their surroundings more. Why drive so fast on Sand Canyon anyway?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Fishers for being angels to help others and a voice even when it seems no one is listening. Your story is one that I will not soon forget. I can’t imagine screaming out for help in the middle of the night and seeing this unfold before your eyes. It’s sad you are the ones to have to deal with cleaning up the mess left behind – I am shocked that you, the person who called for help – the person who had to see it all – has to deal with blood, gloves, triage supplies and syringes? For you to see this tragedy first hand then to have the responsibility to clean it up afterward while still in shock yourselves is just not right. Of course what is the very most tragic are the families who are dealing with the death of their loved one and the severe injuries of the other boy. I pray for them, their families and for you and your family to recover from such a horrific incident. I know if this happened on my property, I would most certainly be shaken, upset and disturbed. I hope there is an answer. Someone must do something – you have done more than your part. It’s time for the sheriff or city to take action and get those statistics gathered for changes NOW. The time has long come for change and at the expense of these boys lives.

  8. John Sires says:

    Speed bumps will slow all traffic including fire and police vehicles responding to the canyon’s emergency calls. These kids are yours and mine. We, as parents, have the responsibility to take action You can’t and shouldn’t legislate safety. It never works as planned.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman who allegedly spray-painted walls on a city park building in Saugus early Tuesday morning, also discovering she was allegedly in possession of forged checks.
Woman Charged with Defacing Park Building, Check Forgery
The Paramount Network has set Aug. 11 as the premiere date of 'I Am Paul Walker,' a new film documentary tracing the life of the late actor, who was killed in a 2013 car crash in Valencia.
Aug. 11: Paul Walker Film Doc to Debut on Paramount Network
Marston's Restaurant in Valencia is helping raise funds for Carousel Ranch, Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit organization that provides equestrian therapy for disabled and special needs children and adults.
July 15-Aug. 15: Marston’s Restaurant Fundraising for Carousel Ranch
Members of Santa Clarita Valley home haunters Beware the Dark Realm will appear on a panel at the third annual "Midsummer Scream" Halloween Festival and scarefest at the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29.
July 28: SCV’s Beware the Dark Realm to Join Panel at Midsummer Scream
The Sierra Hillbillies Square & Round Dance Club will throw a good old-fashioned picnic and dance to the calls of Jay Henderson at the SCV Senior Center on Sunday, August 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sierra Hillbillies Set 2 Dances for August, September
A Spring Valley, California woman was arrested and charged for evading and resisting arrest on southbound Interstate 5 in Valencia late Tuesday night after a pursuit by the California Highway Patrol, according to the CHP.
CHP Pursuit Ends With Arrest of Woman on I-5 in Valencia
If you are a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with a private prison in your district, you are also more likely than your peers to co-sponsor punitive immigration legislation, according to a groundbreaking study by California State University, Northridge political science professor Jason Morin.
CSUN Study: Private Prison Operators Influencing Immigration Policy
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies handed out 25 traffic citations during a motorcycle safety enforcement operation in Santa Clarita on Saturday.
SCV Deputies Hand Out 25 Traffic Tickets in Safety Push
A Santa Clarita bank robbery suspect dubbed by the FBI as the "Faux Badge Bandit" is now also suspected of robbing banks in Northern California, according to authorities.
‘Faux Badge Bandit’ Also a Suspect in NoCal Bank Heists
A Ninth Circuit panel on Tuesday affirmed a federal judge’s order preliminarily barring California from enforcing a voter-approved ban on high-capacity gun magazines.
Ninth Circuit Upholds Block of California Gun Magazine Ban
The California Department of Motor Vehicles now offers customers a convenient way to complete a driver license or identification card application online before visiting a field office.
DMV Debuts Online Application for Driver License, State ID Card
2009 - Two killed in crash of experimental plane in Sand Canyon [NTSB report]
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is holding a Business After Hours Mixer at Valencia Acura, Wednesday, July 18, at 5:30 p.m.
July 18: SCV Chamber’s Business After Hours Mixer
Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast the lone vote opposing a motion to place a measure on the November ballot which seeks to increase property taxes on residential and commercial properties to generate approximately $300 million a year to fund additional stormwater projects.
Barger Casts Lone Vote Against Proposed Stormwater Tax
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to move forward with a comprehensive plan to increase local water supply and improve water quality.
Supes Move Forward with Efforts to Improve Local Water Supply, Quality
The county of Los Angeles and community partners are working hand-in-hand to combat homelessness, which has decreased for the first time in four years.
County Combines New, Existing Programs to Combat Homelessness