The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office has identified two of the three men who died Sunday afternoon in a fiery head-on collision on San Francisquito Canyon Road.
Killed in the crash were Santa Clarita resident Spencer Thomas, 28, Glendale resident Shane Rivera, 41, and a Valencia man, 40, whose ID is pending notification of next of kin, according to Sarah Ardalani, public information officer for the coroner’s office.
Two others in critical condition were transferred to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital via ambulance, said Robert Diaz, Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher.
The California Highway Patrol also released additional information detailing the cause of the fatal vehicle collision that occurred Sunday at 4:10 p.m. at San Francisquito Canyon Road and Riverview Road near Medina Ranch and Rosewood Equestrian.
A white 2019 BMW M5, driven by the as-yet unnamed 40-year-old Valencia man, was traveling southbound on San Francisquito Canyon Road, south of North Quail Trail, and a blue 1989 GMC Suburban, driven by Thomas, was traveling northbound on the road, in front of the driver of a gray 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer approaching the BMW, according to a CHP report.
“The driver of the BMW made an unsafe turning movement to the left and traveled over the double yellow lines and entered into oncoming traffic, colliding with the blue GMC Suburban,” read the report.
“From the initial impact, debris from a vehicle collided with the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. As a result, the driver of the BMW M5, driver of the GMC Suburban, and right front passenger of the BMW M5 (Rivera), all succumbed to fatal injuries on the scene.”
The left rear passenger of the BMW M5 — a 41-year-old Burbank man — as well as the right front passenger of the GMC Suburban — a 27-year-old Santa Clarita woman — were transported to Henry Mayo Hospital with critical injuries, and the driver of the Chevrolet Trailblazer sustained no injuries as a result of the collision.
The collision also resulted in one of the vehicles erupting in flames, but firefighters were able to knock down the fire at approximately 4:37 p.m.
The Valencia resident, 28, who was driving the Chevrolet Trailblazer, said she was driving up San Francisquito Road with her 2-year-old to see her parents when the crash occurred right in front of her.
The resident asked to be unnamed as she did not want further attention while she processed the experience.
“I was driving behind the blue pickup truck, and the speed limit on San Francisquito Road, I believe, is 55 mph. He was driving about 45 mph, so under the speed limit,” the eyewitness said. “The white BMW comes probably at about 90 mph straight into the pickup truck.”
“It happened literally in the blink of an eye. The BMW wasn’t swerving at all and he went straight into the pickup truck. I’m assuming he lost control because he was driving so fast.”
According to the eyewitness, she was able to swerve off the road and not hit the cars involved in the head-on collision because she was driving as slowly as she was.
“There were flames instantly, and it was just horrible,” she said. “I’m definitely shaken up right now. Three people died, two are in critical condition. I had my 2-year-old in my car. If I had passed the blue car, it would have been me. It’s just devastating to see people lose their lives today, and it could have been avoidable.”
Her family lives on a property off San Francisquito Road, she added, and they’ve witnessed multiple deadly car collisions.
“We see people driving way past the speed limit and almost never see anyone get pulled over,” she said. “Enough is enough because it’s just risking people’s lives at this point.”
According to CHP Officer Patrick Kimball, CHP officers were on the scene as well and provided traffic management. CHP officers shut down San Francisquito Canyon Road and the agency issued a SIG alert at approximately 4:28 p.m.
Kimball said CHP officers redirected traffic near Quail Trail and Lady Linda Lane. The SIG alert was canceled at approximately 10:42 p.m. and all lanes were opened once again.
The fatal collision is being investigated by CHP Officer C. Mead, Newhall Area office, and any witnesses to this crash can contact the CHP Newhall Area Office at 661-600-1600.