One dead, one injured, in early morning Castaic crash

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A 55-year-old man was killed in a traffic collision near Castaic early Tuesday morning and a 17-year-old passenger in the same car taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The deceased man was identified as the car’s driver, Rick Alan Bradford, of Lancaster.

The fatal crash happened about 12:45 a.m. today, as Bradford was driving a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser northbound on Interstate-5, north of Palomas Wash, California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Greengard told The Signal Tuesday.

“Preliminary investigation determined the vehicle veered to the left, off of the roadway, and struck the drainage ditch on the west road edge and rolled several times before coming to rest,” he said.

Bradford suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The sole passenger in the car, also a resident of Lancaster, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.  This collision is still under investigation.

The passenger, a 17-year-old youth, was trapped inside the overturned car.

The car flipped over, near Lake Hughes Road, trapping the two occupants inside it, Fire Department spokeswoman Vanessa Lozano said.

“The call came in as a solo vehicle overturned with two people trapped inside,” she said. “There was a request for an ambulance.”

Paramedics and firefighters were dispatched to the crash at 12:56 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 1:05 a.m., Lozano said.

When emergency crews arrived, they found a second vehicle that had apparently left the freeway and went down an embankment. No one was reported hurt in the second vehicle.

One patient, the passenger in the PT Cruiser, was taken to the hospital.  Firefighters worked for more than an hour at the crash site.

Alcohol and/or drugs are suspected to be a factor, Greengard said.

All lanes were closed for approximately 20 minutes after CHP arrival.

Shortly before 1:20 p.m., the slow lane and the lane next to it – referred to by the CHP as the #3 and #4 lanes – were open for traffic.  All lanes were open for traffic about 4:30 a.m.

Next of kin has been notified, Greengard said.

For additional information regarding the deceased, please contact Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

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