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Teens killed in Santa Clarita pickup truck crash are identified

Firefighters remove the dead and injured from a truck that plunged 200 feet down an embankment early Friday in Santa Clarita.
Firefighters remove the dead and injured from a truck that plunged 200 feet down an embankment early Friday in Santa Clarita.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County coroner on Saturday released the identities of three teenagers killed when their pickup truck veered off a road and plunged down an embankment in Santa Clarita.

Jake Gnasso, April Townsend and Ian Bulbenko, all 19, died and two others were injured early Friday when the driver of the pickup lost control, sending the vehicle about 200 feet down an embankment off Rush Canyon Truck Trail, about a mile from Sierra Highway.

KCBS-TV reported the victims were students at John Burroughs High School in Burbank.

The crash occurred about 1:30 a.m. Friday but was not reported until around 7:15, when one of the two survivors regained consciousness and called for help, the California Highway Patrol said.

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Two of the dead passengers were not wearing seat belts but the fatally injured driver was, the CHP said. The two survivors, both 19-year-old males, had been wearing seat belts and suffered moderate injuries, the CHP said. They were not identified.

The CHP is investigating whether alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Follow @jeanmerl for the latest in Southern California news.


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