LA CRESCENTA (CBSLA.com) — Dashcam video shows what first looks like a picture perfect joyride along Angeles Crest Highway.
But in just seconds, joy turns to terror as the driver whips through a tunnel he comes out the other end and loses control.
Video of the aftermath shows a miraculous end to this accident. The SUV is intact, and the driver was not critically injured. Lucky for him, he crashed in a spot where the road is more forgiving.
In many sections along Angeles Crest, there are no second chances – just steep drops where there is little hope of survival after an accident.
Matt Farah is a car enthusiast, a passion he shares with friends and strangers who meet him to do test drives. Matt hosts a podcast called The Smoking Tire.
“This is a destination for people; it’s pretty unique being up in the Angeles Forest because the roads up here unlike Malibu or a lot of the other places throughout the U.S.,” said Farah. “These roads are not populated. There’s no homes up here.”
There are very few intersections up here. You can enjoy the road without offending neighbors and without seeing kids playing with their dogs on the side of the street. So enthusiasts will come up here and have a bit of fun knowing the risks are mostly limited to themselves.
And it’s for these reasons the CHP says thrillseekers flock to the area to pull off stunts. The secluded two-lane road that connects Wrightwood to La Canada Flintridge reaches elevations of more than 7,000 feet. There are hairpin turns, and visibility can be tough if you’re going too fast.
“I see disasters up here,” said Farah. “It’s important to stay on your side of the road. You can be the best driver in the world, that doesn’t give you X-ray vision.”
“I’ve been nearly killed by motorcyclists crossing double yellows – head on around a bend,” motorist Andrea Franco said. “There’s no way he could have known I was coming. He just did the irresponsible thing – had the timing been slightly off, it would have been an accident, likely a motorcyclist through my windshield.”
In just the past year, the highway has been in the headlines for horrific crashes like one last August. A truck carrying three teens from Fontana plunged hundreds of feet off the roadway onto the cliffside. No one survived.
But it would be a different fate for Abraham Perez, who lost control of his car along the highway on his way home from Pasadena City College. He flipped the car and tumbled down the side of the mountain. He was trapped inside for a day.
Experienced drivers say the bottom line is Angeles Crest Highway is a piece of heaven to be enjoyed, but if you test it by not following the rules of the road, it may be your last trip.