Alcohol found in driver in fatal July 4 crash

One person was killed Wednesday, after a sedan collided with an SUV at a high rate of speed and then collided with a utility pole, near the intersection of Bouquet Canyon Road and Wellston Drive.

Alcohol played a factor in a fatal July 4 crash that took place on Bouquet Canyon Road, a Sheriff’s Department official said this week.

Andrew Straughan, 24, of Santa Clarita, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at 9:25 p.m., according to Investigator Kristy L. McCracken of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

His blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was measured at 0.22, confirmed Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. The Coroner’s Office has not yet released the formal toxicology report, said Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the county coroner.

The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crashed, according to Sgt. Scott Shoemaker of the station’s Traffic Unit.

“It attempted to make a lane change but, instead, struck a vehicle in front of it,” he said, following the crash. “The driver lost control and ended up northbound on the sidewalk where it collided with a (Southern California) Edison pole, which crushed the passenger compartment of the vehicle.”

Straughan was the lone occupant of the sedan, which flipped onto its side and slid on its passenger door into the pole, Shoemaker said, noting the pole also came in contact with the car’s roof.

Straughan, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was a graduate of Bowman High School and an Eagle Scout from Troop 316 in Saugus. He was remembered at a candlelight vigil Sunday, July 9, following the crash. Straughan’s family members handed out candles and said prayers.

Three occupants of the other vehicle, an SUV, were injured in the crash, two of them requiring transport to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

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