The man who drove his vehicle off the side of Angeles Crest Highway on Wednesday night in an incident being investigated as a suicide has been identified as a 55-year-old Pasadena resident.
The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station received a call at 8:56 p.m. indicating a vehicle had driven off the side of the highway near Mile Marker 27 near La Cañada Flintridge, Watch Commander Lt. Marjory Jacobs said Thursday. A fire crew responded but was unable to reach the red 1995 Nissan pickup truck at its resting point some 500 feet down a steep canyon.
Montrose Search and Rescue responded to the scene and were able to access the vehicle and the driver, a male, whose body was discovered about 100 feet further down the canyon than the vehicle, Jacobs said.
“The driver ended up 600 feet down — he was extricated, or catapulted, from the vehicle,” the watch commander added.
Jacobs said nearby drivers who witnessed the incident reported seeing the vehicle parked in a nearby turnout. Suddenly, the car accelerated out of the turnout and continued to pick up speed as it moved downhill before careening off the side.
“He was determined,” said Jacobs, adding that the man was seen by witnesses talking on a cellphone as he drove.
The matter is currently being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau. Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, said Friday the man was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:30 p.m. and that an autopsy was pending.
“He evidently had some prior issues,” Winter said.
June 9, 2:55 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details and comments provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, including the driver’s city of residence, date of birth and a vehicle description.
This article was originally published on June 8 at 2:55 p.m.