LAPD Confirms Speed Was A Factor In Crash That Killed COC Students - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 3:56pm

Los Angeles Police Department officials said the car crash that killed two College of the Canyons football players and left one in critical condition was a "tragic incident" and speed was a factor.

"One of the factors was a high rate of speed," said LAPD Detective Bill Bustos, officer in charge of the Valley Traffic Division. "The black 2005 Nissan 300z was equipped with only two seats and three people were in the car. One was in the cargo area in the back."

The two occupants of the 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan, a 44-year-old woman and her 11-year-old daughter, that the Nissan hit were taken to a local hospital and have been released, Bustos said.

"It was a tragic incident," Bustos said. "There was a tremendous amount of intrusion on the driver's side of the Nissan." 

The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Friday, when 18-year-old Eldridge Salguero, the driver of the Nissan, lost control of the car and collided with the 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan. The two passengers, Isaiah Hastings, 19, of Lancaster, and Alexander Manu, 18, of Reseda were pronounced dead at the scene.

"We are still investigating and we have a number of things to do as part of the investigation," he said. "We have not interviewed (Salguero), we are making sure (he) gets medical attention and are concerned about his well being."

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One of the three College of the Canyons football players who was in a multiple vehicle collision in Sylmar Friday is still in critical condition, officials said Monday.

"(Eldridge Salguero) is still in intensive care and he remains in critical condition," said Natasha Shows, spokeswoman for the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Two of Salguero's teammates were killed in the collision.

"The football team was scheduled to practice Saturday but the practice was cancelled," said Eric Harnish, spokesman forCollege of the Canyons. "I know it's hit them hard. They have been practicing this summer the team has been coming together to be hit with something like that has been difficult."

All three players were new to the team and to the college, Harnish said. They were expected to begin classes Monday.

The deceased victims were identified as Isaiah Hastings, 19, of Lancaster, and Alexander Manu, 18, of Reseda. The surviving victim was identified as Eldridge Salguero, 18, of Van Nuys.

"We're grieving the loss of two student-athletes whose lives and potential were tragically cut short," said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook, who gave her annual pre-season address to theteam last week. "This was a special group of young men who clearly understood the power of teamwork. Isaiah, Alexander and Eldridge had already distinguished themselves during their short time with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and we're hoping for the best for Eldridge."

The crash occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday near San Fernando Road and Sunshine Canyon in Sylmar after a black 2005 Nissan 300z lost control and collided with a 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Justin Kravetz.

The Nissan was travelling southbound on San Fernando Road when the vehicle lost control and swerved into the northbound lanes of San Fernando Road.

Hastings and Manu, who were travelling in the Nissan with Salguero, sustained major injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel, Kravetz said.

Salguero sustained major injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

"We're just devastated," said COC's head football coach Ted Iacenda. "Our team came together in a unique way over the summer, and the loss of Isaiah and Alexander leaves a void that I can't begin to describe. We're grieving for their families, and staying positive for Eldridge."

The driver of the minivan, Suh Min Kyung, 44, of Castaic, and an 11-year-old child who was a passenger in the van sustained minor injuries and were also transported to a local hospital. 
LAPD officials were unable to confirm the cause of the crash.

All three football players came to COC from Birmingham Community Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley, according to a COC news release.
Hastings played running back and was in his first year at COC. He was a former All City Player of the Year at Birmingham.

Iacenda described him as a quiet, serious player with an electric smile.

"He didn't say much," Iacenda said. "But he didn't need to. He was a tremendous player, and his game said everything."

Defensive lineman Manu was "larger than life in every sense," Iacenda said. "Big hair. Big body. Big smile. He was one of those personalities where everyone on the team knew him, liked him and gravitated toward him because of his demeanor."

Salguero plays defensive back, and is the type of player who demonstrates leadership on an off the field, Iacenda said.

"Besides being a tremendous football player, he is always on top of everything he needs to take care of as a student."

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer H. Fredo with the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8037.

Melissa Lampert contributed to this report.