Two people lost their lives and four others sustained minor to critical injuries on Thursday, as two separate traffic collisions on opposite sides of the Valley were reported.
The first collision was reported at 50th Street East, North of Palmdale Boulevard. A Honda crossed the center line and clipped a trailer being towed by a Chevy Silverado. The Honda continued for about 80 feet before colliding head-on with an Antelope Valley Transit Authority bus. Luckily, there were no passengers on the bus at that time. Unfortunately, the driver of the Honda was killed in the collision.
Neither the bus driver nor the Silverado driver sustained major injuries, but did have minor ones.
The other collision occurred at 60th Street West and Avenue F. A Lexus was traveling West on Avenue F at an unknown speed, while a Jeep Grand Cherokee was Northbound at 55 mph. The Lexus ran the stop sign and collided with the Jeep, sending both vehicles rolling into the desert. The Jeep struck an electrical pole and came to rest upside down, but the driver survived, albeit with moderate to significant injuries. The passenger in the Jeep also had moderate to significant injuries and both were transported to Antelope Valley Hospital.
The Lexus driver, however, did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Thursday, one might say, proved to be a deadly day, not just in the Antelope Valley, but in Santa Clarita, as well. Blaring sirens could be heard around 8 a.m., on Sierra Highway, as deputies from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Department rushed to the freeway, on their way to Saugus, to help with the active shooter situation at Saugus High School.
The 16-year-old suspect, who killed two of his classmates before turning the gun on himself, was celebrating his birthday the day of the incident. To say the killings were senseless and tragic is an understatement and speaks to the fact that violence continues to be an issue in our schools, across the country.
Between the fatal collisions and the incident in Saugus, we can safely say that the Sheriff’s Departments in the Antelope Valley had their hands full yesterday. That’s not taking into consideration the countless other calls they responded to throughout the day, like the incident on 20th Street West and Avenue J, where two juvenile males dressed in hoodies and jeans and carrying skateboards, were seen putting rags in the gas tanks at the U-Haul lot and trying to start them on fire.
That goes far beyond juvenile mischief — that’s plainly criminal.
One could ask what’s wrong with youth these days, but it’s clear that the problem is more of a human issue than an age specific one. There are plenty of adults who do questionable things, too.
We’re not sure if the drivers who died in the incidents Thursday were under the influence or distracted when the collisions occurred, but they apparently were not paying attention, since the Honda driver crossed the center line and the Lexus driver blew through a stop sign.
We’ve written before about the importance of paying attention when driving, but like most things, people will take it with a grain of salt and do as they please because they don’t think the “rules” apply to them.
We have empathy for the victims and families of the Saugus shooting and the fatal collisions, but that also extends to the men and women in uniform who must respond to these incidents on a daily basis.
We are thankful that someone out there is watching out for us.