UPDATE: Two killed in Valencia crash identified

A sheriff's deputy examines a vehicle involved in deadly crash in Valencia on July 4, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal
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UPDATE 3:10 p.m.

The drivers killed in a head-on collision early Tuesday have been identified as 18-year-old Collin Charles Gore and 34-year-old Joel Thomas Godfrey.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department released the two men’s identities Tuesday afternoon.

No cities of residence were given for the two drivers.


Two people lost their lives as a result of excessive speeding in a deadly Valencia crash, marring the first hour of the Independence Day holiday.

At 12:10 a.m., reports of a traffic collision near McBean Parkway and Decoro Drive came into the 911 center at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Initial reports indicated a white BMW sedan was racing, lost control, clipped something and careened into oncoming traffic, according to sheriff’s Lt. Chuck Becerra. Upon further investigating, street racing was ruled out and excessive speed was ultimately determined to be a contributing cause.

The investigation determined the 34-year-old driver of the BMW was traveling northbound on McBean Parkway near Decoro Drive at a high rate of speed when his vehicle hit a tree and careened into oncoming traffic, according to a statement posted to the sheriff’s station’s Facebook page at 6:44 a.m.

A white BMW stands charred at the scene of a deadly crash in Valencia on July 4, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The BMW then slammed head-on into a Honda Accord which caused the 18-year-old driver of that vehicle to be ejected.

Both vehicles came to a rest about 100 feet apart on the southbound side of McBean Parkway just south of Decoro Drive. The BMW caught fire.

Both drivers died at the scene, Becerra confirmed.

As law enforcement officials across the country gear up for what’s expected to be a busy Fourth of July holiday, local units are hitting the streets en masse to curb the number of deadly crashes on Santa Clarita’s roadways.

“We have our entire field force deployed over the next 24 hours to do everything we can to keep everyone as safe as possible,” Becerra said.

Editor’s note: At 8:35 a.m., this story was updated to include additional details about the crash and drivers as well as the determination that street racing was ruled out after officials initially indicated it was suspected.
As more details are released, this story will be updated.

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