Five people, including three who had to be cut from an overturned vehicle, were taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle crash in Saugus on Monday night.
Investigators have not determined whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash; however, the cause and circumstances are still under investigation at this time, according to officials with the Sheriff’s Station’s Traffic Unit.
Two of the five people injured in the crash were still being treated at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital late Tuesday afternoon, according to the mother of two of the crash victims
Shaiela Carman Phillips Johns told The Signal the day after the crash that her daughter and son were both passengers in the vehicle that plunged into the ditch.
“I’m glad they’re alive, but I am very angry that he (driver) was driving so irresponsibly,” she told The Signal on Tuesday afternoon.
Johns was referring to cellphone video of the motorist seen driving the steering wheel with his foot.
“It was really hard to watch,” she said, noting she believes the video was shot about 15 minutes before the crash, since her daughter phoned her before recording the incident.
“How could he do that with so many people in the car?” Johns said, noting her daughter was in the front seat, and her son in the backseat, along with one other person still injured and still in the hospital.
“My son was released from the hospital at 4 in the morning. He has a fractured sternum,” she said, referring to an injured breastbone.
“My daughter is still in the hospital. She had (surgical) staples to her side,” she said. “They’re keeping her in the hospital for observation.”
Patrick Moody, spokesman for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, confirmed for The Signal late Tuesday afternoon that two of the injured occupants of the overturned car were in “fair condition.”
The crash happened shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Bouquet Canyon Road, between David Way and Shadow Valley Lane, right at a bend in the road, as a light rain fell.
Firefighters arriving at the crash found a crushed overturned vehicle at the bottom of an embankment, leaking gasoline with three people trapped inside.
Johns said her daughter told her she was soaked in gasoline as firefighters worked to free her and the others.
“This came in as a traffic collision with persons trapped,” Fire Specialist Randall Wright of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Signal. “Engine 108 showed up and found one vehicle 10 feet over an embankment, overturned and with major damage, with three people trapped inside.”
“Those three people had to be cut out of the vehicle,” he said, “which they were.”
Once freed, the three seriously injured occupants were rushed by ambulance to the hospital. They were in critical condition as of 11 p.m., Supervising Fire Dispatcher Jeremy Stafford told The Signal Monday night.
Two other people were also rushed to the hospital, Wright said.
“We had two other patients from separate vehicles; one had moderate injuries, the other had minor injuries,” he said.
One of the vehicles, a white SUV, sustained major front-end damage, with the airbag having been deployed.
As a precaution since the vehicle was leaking gasoline, firefighters stayed at the crash site while a tow truck crew pulled the crumpled vehicle from the ravine, Wright said.
Fire crews remained at the scene until just before 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are investigating the crash, Sgt. Scott Shoemaker, who heads the SCV Sheriff Station’s Traffic Unit, said Tuesday.
Asked if anyone has been arrested in the crash, he said: “Not right now. We are waiting for the results of toxicology tests.”.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt