By Emily Alvarenga & Caleb Lunetta
Signal Senior Staff Writers
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials said they are investigating a Castaic crash that killed a local teen and injured five others on Sunday, with law enforcement looking at, among other things, whether alcohol, drugs and/or street racing were involved in the crash.
After receiving the report of the crash on the 28400 block of Sloan Canyon Road shortly after 4:30 p.m., first responders pronounced Kayla Payan, 17, of Castaic, dead at the scene, according to Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman with the coroner’s office.
Investigators at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said on Monday that they were looking at a variety of questions about the crash, including whether the crash was criminal in nature.
“I know there’s reports that they were possibly street racing, and that’s one of the things we’re looking at,” said Sgt. Scott Shoemaker of the SCV Sheriff’s Station. “And then we’ve also obtained a blood sample from the driver of the crash, and that’ll be sent to our lab that analyzes alcohol or drugs as a factor.”
In the immediate hours after the crash, investigators learned that the vehicle was carrying all minors and Payan was reportedly sitting in the rear passenger seat of the car, Shoemaker said. The vehicle, driven by a 17-year-old girl whose name was withheld because she is a minor, reportedly struck a curb, then a parked backhoe tractor, before ultimately landing in the Sloan Canyon residence’s backyard.
Investigators, Shoemaker said, also believe that speed was a factor in the crash, but they do not yet know the speed the car was traveling when it crashed.
“This is something that is going to take a while,” said Shoemaker. “We have to wait for the blood results to come back, and we have to wait for the autopsy report, things like that.”
All persons in the vehicle were minors, Shoemaker said, and no persons had been arrested as of Monday in connection to the crash.
At least five people were injured as a result of the incident, two of whom were transported to the hospital, while Payan was confirmed dead on arrival, Pickett said.
The status of the two patients transported to the hospital was unknown as of the publication of this story.