By Mary O’KEEFE
A 17-year-old male who was a passenger in a vehicle died Saturday night after the driver, Arash Sanei, 19, of Montrose lost control of his 2005 Lexus on La Tuna Canyon Road about a mile from the Foothill (210) freeway. The vehicle spun out of control and slammed into a cement guardrail.
Daniel Kaplan of Glendale died due to blunt force trauma he received during the accident, said Ed Winter, Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Kaplan had attended Crescenta Valley High School and was attending Daily High School. Counselors were on hand Monday to support students at both schools.
A second passenger, Steven Alonso, 20, suffered moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital, said Sgt. Jones, Los Angeles Police Dept.
The driver was traveling westbound on La Tuna Canyon Road. From witness statements, it appeared he was driving very fast, which was especially dangerous due to the rain and slick roads, said Los Angeles Police Officer Rhiannon Talley, Valley Traffic Division.
There was no indication the driver was under the influence, Talley said.
Talley added that the tragedy of this accident should be a warning to young drivers as well as older ones.
“Be aware of where you are and the roads you are traveling on,” she advised. “Slow down and take your time.”
Several witnesses have come forward, however LAPD is still asking for the public’s help with any information regarding the accident.
Anyone who may have witnessed the traffic collision is being asked to contact Police Officer Rhiannon Talley, Valley Traffic Division Detectives, at (818) 644-8116. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cellphone. All text messages should begin with the letters LAPD. Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.