Coroner identifies body found in Newhall Pass crash

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Medical examiners are investigating the cause of death behind a man who was found in a car off the side of the southbound lanes of Sierra Highway, north of The Old Road, in the Newhall Pass on Sunday. 

The Coroner’s Officer identified Paul Gallette, 56, of Sylmar, as the man who was found deceased in his car over the weekend.

Gallette is the registered owner of a Honda Civic that was found. He was listed on a missing persons report filed in the city of Los Angeles with the L.A. Police Department on May 22.

LAPD Detective Oscar Cansino of the department’s Missing Persons Unit confirmed investigation the decedent’s connection to the LAPD investigation Monday.

Gallette was believed to have been in the car for “more than 30 days,” according to California Highway Patrol officials who received the report Sunday at approximately 3:22 p.m. Gallette was declared dead at the scene around 3:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Coroner’s Office.

Officers were alerted to the solo-vehicle crash site, which was found mostly hidden in heavy brush on the side of the road by a motorist who had pulled over for a brief respite when the witness observed a crashed vehicle and what appeared to be a person inside.

The cause of the crash is being investigated, although the person did not appear to be using safety equipment, and officers also found “numerous empty alcoholic beverage containers in the vehicle,” according to Josh Greengard, CHP Newhall-area Office spokesman. Speed is also suspected to have been a factor. 

Gallette apparently failed to negotiate a turn and appeared to have veered off the road, according to the initial crash report by CHP officers.

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