The driver in Tuesday night’s fatal collision on Sand Canyon Road has been placed into a medically induced coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, a sheriff’s official said Thursday.
Sgt. Richard Cohen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station identified the driver as Colt Doherty, 19, of Canyon Country.
Doherty sustained massive blunt-force head trauma in the collision that killed his passenger, Dakota Demott, also 19 and from Canyon Country.
Doctors sometimes induce a coma in cases of traumatic brain injury to aid recovery. Trauma alters the metabolism of the brain, so drugs are administered to shut down brain function and protect the affected areas. Brain waves are stabilized in a manner that mimics a natural coma. As with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the process can be reversed when the drugs are removed.
On Tuesday night, Doherty was behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang that witnesses said was traveling at a high rate of speed on southbound Sand Canyon Road just before it veered to the left and crashed into a large oak tree on the opposite shoulder just past Alamo Canyon Road.