Vigen Sarkisyan, 18, Killed When Car Plunges 500 Feet off Angeles Crest Highway
Corrected at the bottom: There was apparently no car involved in the plunge.
An 18-year-old from Sunland-Tujunga, a small mountain community in northeast Los Angeles, died in a tragic Sunday-afternoon accident off Angeles Crest Highway.
Vigen Sarkisyan was in a car with two of his friends when it flew off the side of the highway -- plunging 500 feet into a ravine in the Angeles National Forest.
One of his friends managed to crawl up to the road and flag down some help...
... but by the time Sarkisyan and another injured passenger were pulled from the wreckage (near mile marker 41) by an Air Rescue helicopter from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, the former was declared dead.
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His two friends are still suffering from "major trauma injuries," reports the LA Daily News.
"Is it me, or do a lot of Armenians die on that highway?" writes user "BoNeS" on a memorial thread for Sarkisyan on Armenianplanet.com.
Another writes, "Haunts me cause I saw him two days ago as I was walking to my apartment as he was going inside his grandma's (my neighbor)." And Tumblr user named Renee Mahseregyan says, "wish this was all a dream cause it's just too cruel of reality."
Update, January 30: Initial reports of a car accident have since been contradicted. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department reports no vehicle found at the scene, and calls Sarkisyan's death an "apparent hiking accident." Whether or not the young men were hiking in the athletic sense of the verb, it does appear they were on foot at the time of the fall. Here's a video of the helicopter rescue: