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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Rain
Rain
48°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 9
1937 - Pioneer aviator E.B. Christopher and passenger killed in crash of light plane on Ridge Route near Gorman [story]
wreckage


| Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020
Tom and Alice Renolds, stand in front of a quilt made by Canyon Country High School students that contains photos of their sons who died in a car crash in 2000. Gilbert Bernal/ The Signal

Thursday, November 14, 2020 was a morning that triggered a familiar dark uncertainty for Canyon Country residents Alice and Tom Renolds.

Just before their daily morning walk, the couple heard over the television what Santa Clarita Valley families never wanted to hear: There was a fatal shooting at Saugus High.

On campus was their granddaughter Lexi, 15. As some families received a call or text message from their children that they were safe, others did not, including the Renolds family.

Eventually, Alice and Tom saw live news coverage of their granddaughter leaving the school building and communicated with their son Scott, Lexi’s father, about his daughter’s whereabouts. But those moments of not hearing from her at the time revived their worst nightmare.

“It was almost reliving that whole thing again of like us at night not knowing where our sons were and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, my son’s going through that whole feeling of not knowing where his daughter is and I’m going through that feeling of not knowing where my granddaughter is. Then, all those Saugus High parents having the same feeling we had that night,” said Alice.

Illustrations of Daniel (top) and Timothy Renolds that were killed in a February 2000 car crash, capturing their smiles hangs in the Renold’s home, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Gilbert Bernal/The Signal

That night was 20 years ago on Monday when Tom and Alice Renolds lost two of their three children, Timothy, 18, and Daniel, 15, in a car crash on Soledad Canyon Road. The high-speed collision killed the brothers and their friend Nicki Ianozzi. Rodney Adams, 45, also died after the vehicle the teens were in struck his car and went airborne.

Canyon High School student Marcus Lellan, who was the then-18-year-old driver, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in state prison. He went on to serve half of his sentence and was deported to Denmark, as he was a Danish citizen. The Renolds, who said they have not spoken with Lellan, believe he eventually returned to the SCV.

On Feb. 17, 2000, Alice remembers that empty, heart-wrenching feeling standing near the crash site as she waited to hear confirmation from law enforcement on whether the passengers in the vehicle were her two sons.

“I just fell down and started screaming that both of our sons were dead,” she said, describing what she did after hearing confirmation.

Years after the tragedy, Alice was unable to revisit family vacation locations where they would travel with Tim and Danny, while Tom preferred to stop by those places. The grieving process for each was different and that’s one message the Renoldses have and continue to share with other families who have experienced loss: There’s no one-size-fits-all to grieving.

Marcus Lellan’s overturned car at the scene of the crash on Soledad Canyon Road near Sand Canyon road on February 17, 2000. Dan Watson/The Signal

“There’s not a rule book,” said Tom. “You can’t tell people how to grieve. For us, it was a long journey, like changing their rooms but keeping all of their trophies.”

Even after 20 years, as parents, that empty feeling still comes and goes but their efforts to help others get to a point where “the pain will ease” continues.

“I used to walk in those (support group) meetings and see all these parents laughing and smiling and I thought, ‘I’m never going to get to that point. I lost two children,’” said Alice. “And I now see other parents walk into our meetings and they say the same thing and now I tell them that they will see a point down the road where it will ease and you just have to be patient and know that you will get there.”

Their unity and strength to continue after losing two children has inspired many, including their close friend Kathleen Brown.

“I’m a bigger person for knowing both of them,” she said. “As a friend, it was hard for me to mention that my kids graduated or got married but Alice is a friend that celebrates my children’s success and wants her children to be remembered even though they didn’t have their graduations and weddings. It’s important for her to share our lives with her and not leave her out of it.”

Hundreds join the Walk of Remembrance as they head for the City of Santa Clarita Youth Grove at Central Park for the Evening of Remembrance event in Saugus on Wednesday. 090716 Dan Watson

Alice and Tom Renolds have also inspired many SCV youths, including their two teen granddaughters who will eventually become drivers, as they continue their decades-long advocacy of safe driving. They helped form the city’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, which helped establish the Santa Clarita Youth Grove, and have impacted future motorists with their story at local high schools for “Every 15 Minutes” programs.

Today, the retired couple, who remain active in the community and travel often, said they are happy to know that traffic-related deaths in the SCV involving minors have decreased over the years — but speeding remains an issue.

Alice, speaking in 2019 at the 14th annual Evening of Remembrance at Central Park, an annual event held to remember local youth who died in traffic-related incidents, implored local drivers: “Please, Santa Clarita teens and adults, slow down.”

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.

1 Comment

  1. HL says:

    “Thursday, November 14, 2020 was a morning that triggered a familiar dark uncertainty for Canyon Country residents Alice and Tom Renolds.”

    Marty, you’re not going to believe this …
    -Doc

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Apr 9, 2020
Unemployed Californians to Get Extra $600 Weekly
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that starting this Sunday, California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) initiated by the CARES Act.
Thursday, Apr 9, 2020
Thursday, Apr 9, 2020
Henry Mayo Reports COVID-19 Death in Last 24 Hours
Officials at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed its first death of a COVID-19 patient.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that starting this Sunday, California workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) initiated by the CARES Act.
Unemployed Californians to Get Extra $600 Weekly
The city of Santa Clarita, and our local partners, invite the community to take part in a virtual campaign thanking the essential workers who are providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Inviting Residents to Take Part in Virtual Hearts for Heroes Campaign
Flair Cleaners is offering free No-Touch Home Pickup and Delivery in order to help customers adhere to the Safer at Home guidelines.
Flair Cleaners Offering Free No-Touch Home Pickup & Delivery
Television commercials touting pharmaceuticals caution users that their immune system might be compromised, making one susceptible to invading organisms. Could one be COVID-19?
COVID-19: The Fine Print | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
Officials at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed its first death of a COVID-19 patient.
Henry Mayo Reports COVID-19 Death in Last 24 Hours
Three members of the 2019 College of the Canyons women's volleyball program are moving on to four-year schools with two time All-American Grace Ferguson, and All-Western State Conference (WSC) selections Elizabeth Gannon and Madison Martinez committing to their respective schools in recent weeks.
Several Members of COC Women’s Volleyball Move On to Four-Year Schools
Both Oakmont of Valencia and Atria Santa Clarita, two Santa Clarita Valley senior living communities, reported this week they have residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Oakmont, Atria Senior Housing Facilities Report COVID-19 Cases
(CN) — For the second week in a row, 6.6 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday, showing a sliver of the economic fallout from the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
6.6 Million More File Unemployment for 2nd Straight Week
To assist students during the recent transition to remote instruction, College of the Canyons launched a laptop lending program that has supplied 200 laptops so far to students currently enrolled in the spring semester.
COC Launches Laptop Learning Program
As we approach Passover and Easter, Los Angeles County continues to remind all residents that the Health Officer’s Safer at Home order remains in full effect.
County Reminding Families Safer at Home Order In Full Effect During Holy Week
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Beach Water Advisory Issued Until Sunday
1937 - Pioneer aviator E.B. Christopher and passenger killed in crash of light plane on Ridge Route near Gorman [story]
wreckage
“Dad, didn’t they have an outbreak 100 years ago killing many on Earth?”
Guardians of the Solar System | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
California now has had a total of 16,957 confirmed cases and 442 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state Department of Public Health announced late Wednesday afternoon.
California Wednesday: 16,957 Cases, 442 Deaths; 1,651 Health Care Workers Positive
Los Angeles County officials on Wednesday unveiled a free Critical Delivery Service for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
L.A. County Launches Free Delivery Service for Seniors, Disabled
While we take action to lessen the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on our communities and our health care systems, stress management it is also important.
State Surgeon General Offers Stress Management Tips for All Ages
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday began publishing daily statistical data on employees affected by COVID-19 and data from within the county jail system.
LASD Starts Providing Daily COVID-19 Data
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed 29 new deaths and 620 new cases of 2019 novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the county on Wednesday, with a minimum of 153 cases to date in the Santa Clarita Valley.
L.A. County Wednesday: 29 New Deaths, 620 New Cases; Min. 153 Cases in SCV
The head of the World Health Organization or WHO called on global leaders to “quarantine politicizing COVID” in a retort to President Trump.
WHO Chief Responds to Trump Criticism: ‘Please Quarantine Politics’
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday said the state has secured a deal for 200 million N95 medical masks and surgical masks per month until the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
Newsom Secures 200 Million Medical Masks Per Month for California
The William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Dr. Mariane Doyle and Nadia Cotti to new roles effective July 1.
Hart School District Names New Directors
A family feud over toilet paper led to the arrest of a 26-year old man who allegedly punched his mother in Saugus early Monday morning, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Family Feud Erupts Over Toilet Paper, Son Arrested
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Tuesday to help the state procure necessary medical supplies to fight COVID-19.
California Moves to Procure Its Own Medical Supplies
%d bloggers like this: