June 25--CAJON PASS -- Two High Desert teens died and three other people were seriously injured late Tuesday when a dump truck hauling 80,000 pounds of concrete crashed into a PT Cruiser and then rolled on top of it.
Victorville resident Nicole Lyle, 19, and an unidentified 16-year-old Pinon Hills boy were pronounced dead at the scene at the 15 Freeway and Highway 138.
The Pinon Hills boy attended Serrano High School in Phelan and the other teens had previously attended schools in the Snowline Joint Unified School District.
"It's incredibly sad," said district Superintendent Luke Ontiveros. "What's more tragic than kids being involved in an accident like this? You think your whole life is ahead of you and it just makes you hug your kids a little tighter."
The crash was reported at 11:41 p.m. on the southbound 15 Freeway at the Highway 138 off-ramp, the California Highway Patrol said.
The group was heading west on Highway 138 when the dump truck, whose driver was exiting the southbound 15 Freeway, ran a stop sign, said CHP Officer Ryan Dallin.
"The semi truck collided with the passenger side of the PT Cruiser, pushing it in a southerly direction through the intersection, where it went down a slight embankment," Dallin said. "It allowed the semi truck to basically roll on top of the PT Cruiser and then it came to a stop with the semi truck on top of the PT Cruiser."
Eighteen San Bernardino County firefighters came to the scene, along with a four-person surgical team from Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, said fire Capt. Kyle Hauducoeur. Such teams are requested to help trapped victims and perform amputations, if necessary, to get them free.
Additional crews helped in shoring the dump truck with hydraulic equipment. The vehicle contained 10 yards of concrete.
One of the victims was pulled to safety within 20 minutes, but it took longer to rescue the other two.
Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to get one of the victims out.
"Heavy tow (trucks) and a loader were used to lift the truck and slide it to the side in order to facilitate the extrication of the third victim," Hauducoeur said.
That operation took about two hours.
"There are three young adults that are very lucky to be alive," he said.
Michael Baker, 20, and Shane Gretzner, 19, both of Phelan, and David Castaneda, whose age and city of residence were unknown, suffered major injuries.
Paramedics took all of them to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton for treatment. Their conditions were unknown.
Hauducoeur said a Fire Department chaplain came to the crash site to console the victims' parents and other family members who came to the scene.
CHP officers are still investigating details surrounding the crash, but say dump truck driver, Sonja Aida, 54, of Ontario, was working as a subcontractor on a construction project in the area.
She was not cited or arrested following the collision. Alcohol and drugs were not suspected as playing a role in the crash.
The Snowline school district has been on summer break since May 30, but the district sent counselors to Serrano High School on Wednesday morning to be available for students.
Counselors will also be at the site Thursday at 10 a.m., Ontiveros said.
Copyright 2014 - San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.