LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE (CBSLA.com/AP) — Three people were found dead Monday in the wreckage of a white pickup truck down a hill from a mountain highway north of Los Angeles.
The discovery came in the same area where three teenagers who had been driving a white pickup had been headed when they were last seen on Saturday, authorities said.
Three people were declared dead at the scene off the Angeles Crest Highway about 15 miles north of Interstate 210 and La Canada Flintridge, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
The severely damaged white pickup truck could be seen at the bottom of the hill. It’s believed the car plunged an estimated 600-feet, according to SKY2’s Stu Mundel.
But authorities have not yet released the identities of the bodies, said whether they might be the three teens, or provided any other details on the dead.
The three missing teenagers, all from Fontana about 50 miles to the east, had left on Saturday and told family members they were going hiking in the Angeles National Forest, possibly near Mt. Wilson, Fontana police said in a statement. They would have taken the Angeles Crest Highway to get to Mt. Wilson.
The missing are two men and a girl: 19-year-old Daniel Gamboa, 18-year-old Kasey Vance and 17-year-old Samantha Ornelas. They left in Gamboa’s truck, a white 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup.
The last sign of them was the use of Gamboa’s credit card shortly after 12 a.m. Sunday in Rancho Cucamonga, near Fontana.
“We understand that they have been looking for a truck that meets this description for some missing hikers in the area,” reported Mundel. “Unclear if that is the truck.”
A family member of Ornelas said he saw the video of the truck on the side of the road, and that it matched the one that went missing.
Distraught family members of the missing hikers left the Fontana police department late Monday, and were reportedly consoled by a chaplain.
Meanwhile, crews were attempting to hoist the vehicle up, and positively identify the bodies. There was no official word yet from the coroner as to the identities of the deceased. The cause of the cause was also not known.
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