Preliminary investigation revealed that on May 23, 2017 at approximately 12 p.m., a green Honda Civic 4-door was traveling southbound on IR15 on the Glendale (exit 91) off ramp. The Honda was traveling at a speed to fast for conditions. The driver applied the brakes and entered a skid. The Honda continued into the east paved shoulder and the left side struck a guard rail fence. The unrestrained driver was partially ejected and struck a guardrail post. The vehicle careened west off of the guard rail face and then struck the guardrail again. When the vehicle again struck a guardrail post, the driver was fully ejected. The Honda was redirected west down the off ramp and entered the raised median area where the Honda then struck a sign post. The Honda continued southwest through a chain fence and then across both travel lanes of SR168 into the dirt shoulder where it struck a barbwire fence.
The 59 year old male driver who was later identified as Santa Rosa, California resident Ruperto Valencia, succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash and was pronounced deceased on scene. Impairment is suspected but lab results are pending.
This marks NHP Southern Command’s 28th fatal crash resulting in 30 fatalities for 2017.