Two young men were arrested today and face murder charges in the death of Dakota Demott, who died in an alcohol-related crash on Sand Canyon Road on Jan. 10.
Colt Doherty, 19, who was driving the car in which Demott was a passenger, and 20-year old Thomas Joseph Vensko, who was driving a separate car that contributed to the cause of the crash, will be charged with second degree murder.
On the night of January 10, Demott and Doherty were traveling in a Ford Mustang at a high rate of speed on Sand Canyon Road. When Doherty entered a curve, he lost control of the car and collided with a large oak tree, the impact of which ejected Demott from the vehicle and threw him into a fence. Demott was declared dead at the scene.
Witnesses had told deputies that there were other vehicles involved in the crash. According to traffic investigator Deputy Mike Shapiro, Vensko was arrested because he was racing Doherty before the crash occurred.
“Even though he didn’t cause the death directly, because he was street racing, he faces the same penalty as the driver,” Shapiro explained.
Vensko had two passengers in the car with him, but they are not being charged.
Shapiro said Doherty told them he does not remember the crash and he is still on pain medication for back and neck injuries suffered in the crash. He will be transported from Santa Clarita station to the hospital ward at Twin Towers in downtown LA before his arraignment in court on Friday in San Fernando Superior Court.
Bail for each man was set at $1 million. If convicted as charged, both Doherty and Vensko could face life in prison with a possibility of parole.