Originally published at 11:27 a.m. Sept. 10, 2013.
Tyler Scheurenbrand made an unsafe turn just before plunging down a mountain in Los Angeles County last month in an accident that killed him and injured a friend, the California Highway Patrol has determined preliminarily.
“The preliminary cause for the collision is unsafe turning movement,” said Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
Scheurenbrand, who had just graduated San Juan Hills High in June, and friend Madison Spangenthal, 19 of San Juan Capistrano, had gone to National Angeles Forest to find a place away from city lights Aug. 15. It had been a summer full of adventures, and this was to be one more.
But just past midnight, Scheurenbrand, who was driving, made that bad turn, causing it to leave the roadway, Jimenez said. Officers have not determined why.
Tipping over the edge, the pair careened what’s believed to be up to 700 feet down a mountain. The car burst into flames. Spangethal was able to move and tried to free Scheurenbrand, but the flames were getting too close.
She fled for safety, climbing partway up the incline until she was rescued. Airlifted to County USC Hospital, Spangethal survived with few injuries.