ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Investigators recovered skeletal remains found near an overgrown SUV crash scene deep in the Angeles National Forest north of Mt. Wilson on Wednesday, launching an investigation into who the remains belonged to and how the person died, a homicide detective said.
Caltrans officials first noticed a set of skid marks about 1:30 p.m. leading off side of Angeles Crest Highway, near mile marker 41.69, Lt. Randy Tuinstra of the sheriff’s La Crescenta Station said.
Members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team descended the steep roadside and found an SUV 500 to 600 feet over the roadside, Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The SUV, which the lieutenant declined to describe in detail, was being overgrown with weeds and foliage. He declined to speculate how many months or years the SUV may have been there.
The original skid marks that prompted the search were found to have been the result of an unrelated crash that occurred about a week ago, Jauch said.
No body was initially found.
But officials returned to the scene Wednesday to resume their search. Search and Rescue officials discovered the skeletal remains “in the vicinity” of the SUV about 8 a.m., Jauch said.
The vehicle identification number on the SUV connected it to a missing person’s case launched by the Los Angeles Police Department about two years ago, Jauch said. He declined to discuss the specifics of the LAPD missing person case pending the identification of the remains. “It wouldn’t be responsible,” the lieutenant said.
The age or gender of the person whose skeletal remains were found remained a mystery, he said.
“We have no idea who they belong to,” Jauch said.
Despite the remains being found near the crashed SUV, Jauch said detectives had yet to determine whether the person had been inside it, or if the location of the remains was yet another coincidence.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner is now conducting an investigation into the identity of the person, as well as the cause of death.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Authorities have released the identity of a 72-year-old South Carolina man who died in a collision with a Jeep along Angeles Crest Highway in the forest north of Altadena over the weekend.
Richard Bucci died at following Sunday’s 1:45 p.m. crash near mile marker 46 of Angeles Crest Highway, deep in the Angeles National Forest, just south of Mount Mooney Road, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said.
A 52-year-old Covina woman and a 53-year-old Walnut man suffered injuries in the collision between their 2006 Jeep SUV and Bucci’s 2011 BMW motorcycle, Officer A. McAllister of the California Highway Patrols’s Altadena area office said in a written statement.
Bucci was riding east along Angeles Crest Highway just prior to the crash, McAllister said. The Jeep, being driven by the Covina woman with the Walnut man riding as a passenger, was westbound. Conditions were clear, cool and dry.
“As both vehicles approached each other, the motorcycle crossed into the westbound lane and struck the (Jeep),” the officer said.
Paramedics pronounced Bucci dead at the scene, officials said.
The driver and passenger from the Jeep were treated for injuries described as moderate, McAllister said.
An autopsy found that Bucci died from “multiple blunt trauma,” and the death was ruled accidental.
The cause of the collision remained under investigation. No arrests were made.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer McAllister at the CHP’s Altadena area office at 626-296-8100.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A man died and two other people suffered serious injuries in a crash between a motorcycle and a car Sunday afternoon on Angeles Crest Highway, deep in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena, authorities said.
The collision was reported about 1:45 p.m. near mile marker 46.35 of the winding mountain road, on the forest road just south of Mount Mooney Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio said.
A man died at the scene of the crash, Rubio said.
Two other patients were flown to a hospital by helicopter for treatment, sheriff’s officials said. Their conditions were not clear, and officials could not immediately confirm initial reports that the two injured patients had been riding in the car that collided with the motorcycle.
The CHP issued a Sig Alert affecting both directions of Angeles Crest highway through the late afternoon, logs show.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two people were hurt, and one of them went missing for hours, after their car plummeted over the side of Angeles Crest Highway deep in the Angeles National Forest early Sunday, officials said.
A passer-by discovered the crash scene about a mile north of Mt. Wilson Red Box Road shortly before 10 a.m. after hearing a woman screaming for help, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Bill Jaeger said.
Members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team joined Los Angeles County firefighters to hoist the injured passenger, a teenage girl, to safety, Jaeger said.
She was flown to an area hospital by helicopter for treatment of injuries not believed to be life threatening, Sgt. Booker Hollis said.
But the driver of the car, a man of about 20 years old, was nowhere to be found as of noon, officials said.
“They found a blood trail, which indicates he’s injured and was trying to make his way out of the area,” Jaeger said.
Authorities called off the mountain search Sunday afternoon, Hollis said. The man remained missing.
Shortly before 4 p.m., however, a CBS television news crew that went up the mountain to cover the story heard a man yelling for help, Lt. Chad Sauter said. They notified authorities, who re-dispatced rescuers to the scene.
Officials found the man suffering from a broken leg and other injuries not believed to be life-threatening in the same area they had been searching with the aid of two helicopters and two search dogs, Sauter said.
It was unclear why the man didn’t call out to rescuers, or could not be heard, earlier in the day.
The crash was initially believed to have taken place several hours before the wreckage was discovered.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A 27-year-old Fontana man died early Sunday after his motorcycle collided head-on with an SUV on Angeles Crest Highway, deep in the Angeles National Forest above Altadena.
The crash was first reported about 8:25 a.m. at mile marker 36.89 of Angeles Crest Highway, north of Ladybug Canyon Road, California Highway Patrol officials said. His name was not released pending family notification.
The rider was heading east on Angeles Crest Highway on a 2013 Yamaha R6 at an unknown speed just prior to the collision, CHP Sgt. Todd Kovaletz said in a written statement. A 2001 GMC Yukon was heading in the opposite direction.
“For an unknown reason, (the rider) drove across the painted double yellow lines into the opposing lane, directly into the path of the GMC,” the sergeant said. “(He) collided with the roadway, then with the GMC.”
Paramedics pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene.
The driver of the SUV, a 40-year-old Hanford man, as well as a woman and three children riding as passengers were not injured, Kovaletz said.
The crash is being investigated by the CHP’s Altadena office. Anyone with information was asked to contact Officer J. Ortega at 626-296-8100.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A Woodland Hills man died over the weekend after his motorcycle tumbled off a mountain road and down an embankment deep in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said.
William Lyles Adkins, 23, died in the solo-motorcycle crash, which took place about 12:20 p.m. Saturday near mile marker 56 of Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corrall said.
He was riding a 2003 Suzuki dual sport motorcycle east on Angeles Crest Highway prior to the fatal crash, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
“For reasons unknown, (Adkins) veered from the roadway and down a 100-foot embankment,” according to the statement. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s Altadena area office at 626-296-8100.
Coroner’s officials Tuesday released a composite sketch of a woman whose body was found in the Angeles National Forest after the Station Fire.
The skeletal remains were found on Dec. 26. near the Angeles Crest Highway, coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey said in a statement released Tuesday.
“Jane Doe 87” was “determined to be a White or Hispanic female with an age range between 20-40 years old,” Harvey said. “The skeletal remains may have been at this location for an extended period of time, possibly several years prior to the “Station Fire” in August 2009.”
The composite drawing depicts a woman with a slight overbite and dark hair pulled back in a bun. The woman had several items of jewelry including a yellow metal band with five clear stones and six pink stones, a yellow metal band with five clear stones and six blue stones and a yelow metal band with five clear stones and six green stones.
Additionally she had a yellow metal necklace, Harvey said.
The woman’s skull was found just days after the skull of a man was located in the area near Lucas Creek, investigators said.
Detectives said the man’s skull appeared to have been pierced by a bullet.
Investigators said both sets of remains had been placed in shallow graves and had been undisturbed for some time before last year’s Station Fire, which destroyed more than 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest.
Hikers discovered the man’s skull on Dec. 24. The woman’s skull was located after cadaver sniffing dogs were brought to the scene, officials said.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — A wildfire stoked by an unrelenting heatwave burned its way up Azusa Canyon Road Wednesday blackening more than 750 acres and a “rapidly moving” second fire threatened to close the Angeles Crest Highway several miles north of Morris Dam.
Officials late Wednesday ordered mandatory evacuations for dozens of residents along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, and could offer no estimate as to when the blaze might be contained.
“It definitely has the potential to grow,” said Pam Bierce, a spokeswoman with the Southern California Incident Management team, a federal government agency that is coordinating the firefighting effort.
As of 3:30 p.m. the fire was 10 percent contained but a second blaze threatened homes as far north as the Angeles Crest Highway, officials said.
An evacuation center has been set up at El ROble Imtermediate School, 665 North Mountain Avenue in Claremont has been established for those residents who are being escorted down from the canyon by deputies with the Los Angeles COunty Sheriff’s Department.
A disptacher with Angeles National Forest Fire Service said the second blaze is west of the Morris Fire and that they have “full brush” on it and LA County Fire responded as well.
The second fire was reported at Mile Marker 29 on the Angeles Crest Highway. It was reported at 3:23 p.m. as a brush fire, a Los Angeles COunty Fire Department inspector said.