Barger introduces motion to assume control of Sloan Canyon following car crashes

A roadside memorial is kept on the side of Sloan Canyon Road in memory of a 17-year-old that died in a car crash at the location in August of 2021. September 10, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Following two traffic collisions on Sloan Canyon Road in which speed is considered a factor, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced a motion on Wednesday that would put a portion of the Castaic road under county control.  

The road, which was built by Romero Canyon LCC as part of the Castaic High School project, has remained under private control — despite being open for public use — since August 2019.  

The road has not yet been accepted by the Los Angeles County Department Public Works due to the need for the developer to complete the remaining non-safety items, including the installation of new trees and correcting several of the newly installed street lights that are too close to the overhead transmission lines along Sloan Canyon Road, Barger’s office said on Wednesday.  

If Barger’s motion is passed, Public Works officials would then have permission to conduct traffic safety studies on the segment of Sloan Canyon Road where the two recent traffic collisions took place, between Valley Creek Road and Quail Valley Road. They would also be able to follow law enforcement’s call for more signage being posted in the area. 

“I am heartbroken by the tragic accidents that occurred on Sloan Canyon Road,” Barger said in a prepared statement. “The Castaic community should not live in fear that this road is unsafe for families. I am committed to working collaboratively to overcome bureaucratic hurdles that ultimately put pedestrians and drivers at risk.” 

On Aug. 8, 17-year-old Castaic resident Kayla Payan was killed when the car in which she was a passenger lost control on the 28400 block of Sloan Canyon Road, flying off the side of the road and crash landing on an adjacent private property. Two other teenage girls were injured in the crash, and the investigation into the cause of the incident remains ongoing.  

Then, on Saturday, a second crash, also on the 28400 block of Sloan Canyon Road, resulted in firefighters extinguishing fiery wreckage that was leaning up against the backside of a resident’s home.  

The car was found abandoned and no other injuries were reported as a result of the crash. Speed is believed to be a factor in both instances, and no arrests have yet been made.  

“It’s under active investigation,” said Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol Newhall Office, when asked Wednesday about the latest crash and whether the driver’s identity has been confirmed. “We have a few things we are working off of and should have a result in the next couple days.”  

“In addition to the safety measures we’re implementing on the road, I am committed to supporting efforts by law enforcement and the (William S.) Hart (Union High) School District to emphasize safe driving practices, especially for our youth,” said Barger. “I’m also thankful for the collaboration of the Castaic Town Council for advocating for the safety of residents.” 

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