This post has been updated to correct information about the victim's identity.
Twenty-year-old Duarte man Alex Rodriguez was declared dead early Sunday morning. He had driven his Honda sedan off the side of the windy, cliffside San Gabriel Canyon Road — also known as Highway 39.
A 16-year-old girl in his passenger's seat, also from Duarte, was transported to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center with “only minor injuries,” according to City News Service.
Around 1:10 a.m. …
… Rodriguez failed to complete a turn on the single southbound lane of the San Gabriel Mountains roadway, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
So his vehicle sailed 100 feet down the embankment, ejecting Rodriguez into the forest near mile-marker 27.62.
CHP Officer Alex Antillon said in a statement that “although the cause of the collision is unknown at this time, alcohol and or drugs is being investigated as a factor.”
Caltrans has recently been considering shutting down Highway 39 because its upkeep is too expensive. From the Los Angeles Times:
To avoid closure, the California Department of Transportation is trying to persuade the U.S. Forest Service or Los Angeles County to take over the roadway, which runs 27 miles from the city of Azusa nearly to the crest of the San Gabriels. Neither agency wants it.
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Update: Though the coroner identified the victim as Alex Rodriguez, his friends say his name was “Alex 'Mijo' Garcia.”