Head-On Simi Valley Crash Kills 3 Teen-Agers, Hurts 2

Times Staff Writers

Three Simi Valley teen-agers were killed and two others seriously injured Thursday afternoon when their car collided head-on with a small passenger truck.

The five were driving in a residential neighborhood in southwestern Simi Valley shortly before 3 p.m. when their Honda Civic swerved over a double yellow line and into the path of a Ford Bronco, Simi Valley Police Lt. Jon Ainsworth said.

A mother and daughter riding in the car suffered only minor injuries, Ainsworth said.

The dead were identified as Tan Minh Nguyen, 19, the driver; Michael R. Del Canto, 17, and Mike Melvold, 16.


Listed in serious condition late Thursday with head and internal injuries were Chi Nguyen, 16, and Tung Duong, 17, both of Simi Valley. Nguyen was being treated at Simi Valley Adventist Hospital and Duong at Mountain View Medical Center.

Ainsworth said all the victims except Tan Minh Nguyen were students at Simi Valley’s Royal High School. Tan Minh Nguyen graduated from Royal High in June, police said.

Police do not know what caused the car to swerve, but neither alcohol nor drugs were involved, Ainsworth said. The car was southbound on 1st Street at about 50 m.p.h. when it crashed near Bennett Street, he said.

The five teen-agers were pinned inside the crushed vehicle and specially equipped rescue teams were needed to free them, authorities said.