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09-13-09, 01:40 AM #1
CHP officer Mark Saylor and family
CHP releases 911 call in officer's fiery crash - SignOnSanDiego.com
SAN DIEGO – A harrowing 911 call made by a passenger in a fated Lexus that crashed seconds later and killed four people Aug. 28 was released Thursday by the California Highway Patrol.
In the 50-second tape, crash victim Chris Lastrella begins by telling the dispatcher: “We're in a Lexus ... we're going north (state Route) 125 and our accelerator is stuck.”
The dispatcher asks where they are passing, and Lastrella is heard asking someone in the car where they are. He exclaims: “We're going 120 (mph)! Mission Gorge! We're in trouble – we can't – there's no brakes, MissionGorge ... end freeway half mile.”
The dispatcher asks if they can turn the car off.
Lastrella doesn't answer and says repeatedly: “We are now approaching the intersection, we're approaching the intersection, we're approaching the intersection.”
The last sounds heard on the tape are someone saying “hold on” and “pray.” Lastrella says: “Oh shoot ... oh ... oh” Then a woman screams.
Killed in the crash were CHP officer Mark Saylor and his wife Cleofe who were both 45, their 13-year-old daughter Mahala, and Lastrella, 38, who was Cleofe Saylor's brother. All four lived in Chula Vista.
A preliminary investigation into its cause has indicated the accelerator may have become entrapped by a rubber floor mat, sheriff's Sgt. Scott Hill said.
The car was a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon.
Hill did not know if Saylor tried to shift the vehicle into neutral or turn it off – actions safety experts say may have been impossible if the car was experiencing a malfunction. The shut-off button on the car must be held for three seconds to turn the car off, experts said.
Dave Ezratty, vice president of Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon, said Wednesday that the dealer was refraining from commenting until the investigation into the accident is completed.
Investigators with the Nation Highway Safety Transportation Administration looked at the vehicle last week. Spokesman Ray Tyson said the agency got involved because of a 2007 recall involving after-market “all-weather” floor mats, including the Lexus ES 350.
The mats could slip if not properly installed and entrap the gas pedal, causing sudden acceleration.
The recall was intended to remedy the safety issue, Tyson said. Their investigation will determine whether there may be another safety defect that needs to be looked into, the spokesman said.
The sedan was traveling north on state Route 125 at 6:30 p.m in Santee when it entered the intersection at Mission Gorge Road and hit the rear of a Ford Explorer. The speeding Lexus went over a curb and through a fence and hit an embankment before becoming airborne, officials said.
The car hit the dirt in the San Diego River basin and rolled several times before bursting into flames. Officials with the Medical Examiner's office said all four died on impact of blunt force trauma.
Mark Saylor was a 20-year-veteran with the CHP assigned to the San Diego Area Field Office on Pacific Highway. As part of his job, he conducted safety inspections on tow trucks, armored trucks and ambulances.
Cleofe Saylor was a molecular biologist and senior research associate at Ambrax in La Jolla where she was involved in developing drug therapies for cancer and other diseases. Their daughter was about to start high school at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista and was a soccer team captain.
Chris Lastrella coached basketball and worked as an enrollment adviser at Ashford University in San Diego.
*Removed anti-Lexus comments.
09-13-09, 02:00 AM #2
That is just sad all around'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud
09-13-09, 05:38 AM #3
Police Officers put themselves at risk for strangers every day. Some do not make it home to their families. Next time you think of saying something negative about the police, remember...YOU are one of the strangers.
09-13-09, 07:59 AM #4
Rest in peace.
09-13-09, 09:01 AM #5
Rest in peace.
09-13-09, 12:26 PM #6
Rest in peace.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
09-13-09, 02:06 PM #7
OMG how scary. SO very sad.Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr
09-13-09, 04:18 PM #8
Damn. Rest in peace, Mark.The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
09-13-09, 09:18 PM #9
RIPCalm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
09-14-09, 01:46 AM #10
My condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the fallen.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
09-14-09, 08:20 PM #11
09-14-09, 09:09 PM #12
Rest easy. Very sad
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