Valencia man identified as third victim in fatal crash

Two vehicles were involved in a head-on, triple fatal traffic collision near the intersection of San Francisquito Canyon Road and Riverview Road in Saugus, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene and two other were transported to the hospital in critical condition. Chris Torres/The Signal

The third victim in a fatal crash on San Francisquito Canyon Road last month was identified by officials at the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office on Wednesday.  

Law enforcement officials confirmed this week that Wilbert Montenegro, 40, was the third victim in a fiery San Francisquito Canyon Road crash on Aug. 28 that also resulted in the deaths of 28-year-old Spencer Thomas, of Santa Clarita, and Shane Rivera, 41, of Glendale.  

Two other individuals — including Thomas’s 27-year-old girlfriend who was critically injured, suffering two broken legs and severe burns — were transported to the hospital via ambulance.  

According to investigators, the crash that took the lives of the three men involved their two vehicles colliding with one another at approximately 4:10 p.m. near San Francisquito Canyon Road and Riverview Road, near Medina Ranch and Rosewood Equestrian. 

In their report filed in the immediate aftermath of the crash, California Highway Patrol officials said they believe Montenegro, of Valencia, was driving his white 2019 BMW M5 southbound on San Francisquito Canyon Road when he made an unsafe turning movement to the left.  

The Valencia man’s vehicle then traveled over the double yellow lines on the road and collided head-on with Thomas’ blue 1989 GMC Suburban.  

“From the initial impact, debris from a vehicle collided with the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer,” read the CHP report. “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 BMW’s left rear passenger, a 41-year-old Burbank man, and Ashlynn Vonderau, Thomas’ girlfriend who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the GMC, both were said to have sustained critical injuries and were taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.  

The driver of the Chevrolet Trailblazer sustained no injuries as a result of the collision.  

In the aftermath of the collision, a GoFundMe page was set up to assist Thomas’ family in covering the costs associated with his funeral.       

“He had so much yet to accomplish in this life and we are heartbroken that we won’t get the chance to see him continue to flourish,” Thomas’ sister, Jamie Doerbecker, said on the fundraiser’s page. “We kindly ask that you keep our family and Ashlynn in your prayers during this difficult time.”  

To donate to the GoFundMe, visit

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