Four Fatalities Mar Weekend
A deadly weekend on Santa Clarita Valley roads finished with four traffic fatalities, two involving motorcycles.
According to the Newhall Division of the California Highway Patrol Dean M. Lalley, 42, of Saugus was driving his 1995 Kawasaki ZX900 motorcycle on San Francisquito Canyon Road northbound, south of Lowridge Place at a speed greater than 55 m.p.h.
Officials say Linda J. Spunt, 52, of Saugus was driving her 2003 Toyota Sequoia southbound on San Francisquito Road at 40 m.p.h. when Lalley crossed the double yellow lines and directly into Spunt’s lane. The collision resulted in Lalley being ejected off his motorcycle, striking Spunt’s vehicle before landing on the dirt shoulder.
Lalley’s injuries were fatal. Spunt was uninjured. According to officials the collision is still under investigation; however, alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor.
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A second fatality involving a motorcycle occurred at 12:45 a.m. Saturday when Daniel Ernesto Diaz, 25, of Valencia lost control of his Suzuki GSR near Osage Ridge Road and Mulberry Glen Drive in Saugus. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies say the driver struck a mailbox and then the curb resulting in fatal injuries. The road was described as quiet and uphill. Excessive speed was suspected in the accident since the victim was “fighting gravity” to reach the speed necessary before he lost control.
The last of the fatalities was the result of a head-on collision which occurred at 8:20 Sunday morning on Highway 14 north of the Red Rover Mine exit.
The Antelope Valley Division of the California Highway Patrol reports Carolyn A. Ormston, 57, of Palmdale was traveling southbound on Highway 14 when she for an “undetermined reason” made a turning movement to the left, traveled across the east roadway edge of the southbound Highway 14 and onto the dirt median. Ormston then crossed into the northbound land of Highway 14 causing a head-on collision with the driver of a 2008 Dodge, Ruben James Nieto, Jr., 39, of San Jacinto.
Nieto sustained fatal injuries and succumbed at the scene. Ormston was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital where she died of her injuries.
A female passenger in Ormston’s car, Billie R. Casey, 51, of Los Angeles, suffered major head trauma and was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital.
A male passenger in Nieto’s car, Donald F. Cook, 50, of Rialto, had moderate injuries and was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital.
The traffic incident is under investigation.