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4 Killed as Auto Plunges 600 Feet Into Reservoir

Times Staff Writer

Four people were killed early Monday when their car went over the side of a curving mountain road and plunged 600 feet into the San Gabriel Reservoir in the Angeles National Forest.

The coroner’s office identified three of the victims as Lorenzo Cadena, 33, of Los Angeles and Margaret Saiki and Alfonso Lopez, 48, both of Baldwin Park. The fourth victim, a woman in her 20s, remained unidentified.

California Highway Patrol Officer Steve McGrath said the accident apparently occurred about 4:20 a.m., half a mile north of San Gabriel Dam above Glendora.

Skid marks stretching 300 feet along San Gabriel Canyon Road (California 39) indicated that the southbound vehicle went downhill around a curve and that the driver slammed on his brakes as the car struck an embankment on one side of the road, then careened across both lanes and was catapulted out over the rim.

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One of the men was thrown out of the car and landed on the shore of the reservoir. The body of one of the women was found floating in the water. The other two victims remained trapped in the wreckage, buried under a rock fall in about 15 feet of water.

McGrath said CHP officers received a call shortly after 4:30 a.m. from a motorist who apparently saw the skid marks and realized there had been an accident.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s helicopter crew spotted the body on the shore about 8 a.m.

Members of the San Dimas Mountain Search and Rescue Team and sheriff’s divers recovered the other bodies.

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