header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
56°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 25
1898 - Newhall pioneer Henry Clay Wiley (Wiley Canyon) dies in Los Angeles [story]
HC Wiley


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
    LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
    Friday, Oct 23, 2020
    Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 296,821 L.A. County Cases, 7,000 in SCV
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 23 new deaths and 2,773 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 56 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Friday, Oct 23, 2020
    Sixth Round of ‘Homekey’ Funding Includes $24M for L.A. County
    California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a major injection of new Homekey funding made possible by the Legislature to expand and support the state program, helping thousands of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness find permanent, long-term housing solutions.
    Friday, Oct 23, 2020
    Santa Clarita 2020 ‘State of the City’ Highlights Resilience Amid Challenges
    City of Santa Clarita officials delivered the 2020 State of the City event Thursday in true COVID-19-era format: virtually, while shining a light on local essential workers who have toiled tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1898 - Newhall pioneer Henry Clay Wiley (Wiley Canyon) dies in Los Angeles [story]
    HC Wiley
    1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
    brochure
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 23 new deaths and 2,773 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 56 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
    Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 296,821 L.A. County Cases, 7,000 in SCV
    California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a major injection of new Homekey funding made possible by the Legislature to expand and support the state program, helping thousands of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness find permanent, long-term housing solutions.
    Sixth Round of ‘Homekey’ Funding Includes $24M for L.A. County
    The Santa Clarita City Council has posted its agenda for a regular meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday, October 27.
    Oct. 27 Meeting Agenda: Santa Clarita City Council
    The city of Santa Clarita has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
    City of Santa Clarita Earns National Financial Reporting Award
    The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will host a National Drug Takeback Day event on Saturday, October 24, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    Oct. 24: SCV Sheriff’s Station to Host Drug Takeback Day
    City of Santa Clarita officials delivered the 2020 State of the City event Thursday in true COVID-19-era format: virtually, while shining a light on local essential workers who have toiled tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic.
    Santa Clarita 2020 ‘State of the City’ Highlights Resilience Amid Challenges
    Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the retirement of California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley, and the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Amanda Ray to succeed Stanley.
    CHP’s Stanley to Retire; Governor Names Amanda Ray New Commissioner
    A new state law set to take effect in January requires employers to provide notice of workplace COVID-19 exposure, and Santa Clarita Valley business leaders are urging local businesses to review their health and safety procedures now.
    COVID-19 Exposure: SCV Business Leaders Weigh in on AB 685
    A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy arrested a woman and a male parolee on felony drug and weapons charges in Valencia earlier this week.
    Parolee, Woman Arrested in Valencia on Felony Drug, Weapon Charges
    1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]
    Southern Hotel
    California State University, Northridge will be home to one of the 1,000 vote centers across Los Angeles County that are open to the county’s voters in the days before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
    CSUN to Serve as L.A. County Vote Center Beginning Oct. 24
    Los Angeles County residents who lost their home or sustained other losses due to the recent Bobcat Wildfire may now apply to receive federal assistance.
    FEMA Application Now Open for L.A. County Residents Affected by Bobcat Fire
    Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector Keith Knox and County Assessor Jeffrey Prang are alerting the public to a property tax scam under the guise of COVID-19 that has been reported to a District Office of the Assessor.
    County Officials Warning Residents of COVID-19 Property Tax Scam
    Los Angeles County is providing a second opportunity for financial assistance to businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have been allowed to reopen by the State, but ordered to remain closed by the County of Los Angeles Health Officer Order as of Sept. 4, 2020.
    L.A. County Announces Second Round of Funding for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 18 new deaths and 3,600 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, including 6,944 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley and a new fatality in the city of Santa Clarita.
    Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 73rd SCV Death; Local Cases Up to 6,944
    SCV Water is undertaking multiple planning efforts designed to effectively manage the water supply for our customers, ensuring they have access to reliable water today and tomorrow.
    SCV Water Undertaking Multiple Planning Efforts to Enhance Water Reliability
    With L.A. County’s Project Roomkey coming close to an end, Bridge to Home officials announced Thursday a new initiative to house more than two dozen local homeless individuals, but it will require help from the community
    Bridge to Home’s New Initiative Pledges to House 30 Homeless People by January 5
    Santa Clarita Artists Association will hold its last virtual oil workshop of the year on Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., with Rich Gallego, entitled, "Using a Modified Zorn Palette to Create Harmonious Landscapes."
    Nov. 15: Last SCAA Virtual Oil Painting Workshop of 2020 with Rich Gallego
    The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center will host a virtual open house event on Friday, Oct. 30 for prospective students interested in earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree through the center’s partner institutions.
    Oct. 30: Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center Virtual Open House
    Santa Clarita homeless task force members are exploring options to start a local overnight parking program akin to those in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
    SCV Homeless Task Force Exploring Overnight Parking Options
    The William S. Hart Union High School District will likely not return to campus until January, Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said during the district’s governing board meeting Wednesday.
    Hart District Looks to January Reopening
    Los Angeles County Public Works and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts will host a free Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Recycling Roundup, Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., at Val Verde Park.
    Oct. 24: Free Household Hazardous Waste & E-Waste Recycling Roundup
    %d bloggers like this: