Update: Man Killed in Hwy 17 Crash Near Los Gatos

Fatality occurs when car goes off southbound Highway 17 rolling down hill near Los Gatos Tuesday afternoon.

One person was killed when a car went off of southbound Highway 17 and rolled down a hill near Los Gatos Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2014.
One person was killed when a car went off of southbound Highway 17 and rolled down a hill near Los Gatos Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2014.
Updated: 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22: A man was killed Tuesday afternoon at around 5 p.m. when his car went off the road while traveling southbound on Highway 17 near Alma College Road, south of Los Gatos. 

"We believe the individual ran off the roadway and succumbed to his injuries," said CHP spokesman officer Christopher Falkowski.

There are no witnesses to the accident, Falkowski added saying the victim was a young man, approximately 25 years of age, driving a 2005 GMC SUV sports utility vehicle.

Although his identification has not been established yet, CHP officers believe based on the vehicle's registration that the victim could possibly be from Capitola, Falkowski said.

The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office will have to ID the body, Falkowski said, adding that investigators won't know if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash until a toxicology report is completed by the coroner.

"We don't know what caused the collision," Falkowski said. "We don't know if it was speed, if he was swerving from not hitting a deer ... the primary collision factor is still under investigation."


Updated: 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22:
Highway 17 southbound lanes have been cleared and a Sig-alert issued by the CHP was lifted around 9 p.m. after a fatal solo-vehicle crash near Lexington Reservoir Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities aren't releasing any additional information about the crash or the identity of the driver at this time.

The victim plummeted about 100 feet down an embankment while traveling southbound on the highway near Alma College Road, south of Los Gatos.

—By Bay City News Service 

One person was killed when a car went off of southbound state Highway 17 and rolled down a hill near Los Gatos this afternoon, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The solo-vehicle accident was reported at 5:09 p.m. near Alma College Road, south of Los Gatos.

The car went off the road for unknown reasons and tumbled about 100 feet down a hillside, CHP Officer Ralph Caggiano said.

A person in the car was pronounced dead at the scene, Caggiano said.

A Sig-alert was issued at 5:34 p.m. One of the two southbound lanes is blocked because of the accident, Caggiano said.

There is no estimated time for when the lane will reopen, he said.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


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Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 21, 2014 at 09:55 PM
I did notice more Traffic today. Maybe because many bad yesterday off. People are in such a hurry 2 go Nowhere! SAD INDEED!
Dajon DeRyke January 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Traffic is BAD on SB 17.
Dajon DeRyke January 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM
It's always sad when someone passes away.
Esmée St James January 21, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Sad news... That road can be so treacherous. I always catch myself white-knuckling it.
Skunky January 22, 2014 at 12:29 AM
I saw the car being hauled up as I was coming home (1.5 hours from 85 onramp to Big Moody, btw). It was nearly bent in two. Couldn't tell what kind of car it was, it was in such bad shape.
patricia padilla January 22, 2014 at 09:14 AM
Any explanation yet as to cause. Man or woman identity?
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) January 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM
@Patricia Just added an update. Thanks for reading.
Esmée St James January 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Thank you, Sheila
Guy Nonplussed January 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM
I don't understand how there can be "no witnesses" to a southbound crash at 5:09 pm on a weekday. That section of the highway should be full.
hello there January 22, 2014 at 02:01 PM
The crash must of happened some other time and was only just discovered. There is a man that has been missing since Sunday that matches the description of the person, vehicle and circumstance. I feel deeply sorry to the friends and family.
Esmée St James January 22, 2014 at 03:07 PM
That might explain why there were no witnesses.
Carrie Hamlin January 22, 2014 at 07:18 PM
I also don't understand how they stated there were no witnesses unless it was a reporter error or police error? I also saw the truck as it was being lifted up by the tow truck last night around 7ish and found myself feeling so emotional and bad for whoever was in that vechile. I turned to my husband & said let's say a prayer for them. I felt that no one could have survived, and unfortunately according to this report, the male they reported did not. My heart just sinks . I feel so bad for the family who will receive this awful news of their loved one. Prayers for them.
Carrie Hamlin January 22, 2014 at 07:27 PM
I also noticed people barreling down the road too fast. I see this happen every day on the freeways and even residential areas. There is NO EXCUSE to drive fast or unsafe! No meeting, no job, absolutely nothing is worth being in such a rush to drive unsafe and putting a life at risk. Bottom line!
hello there January 22, 2014 at 07:54 PM
Ed Dee January 23, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Thanks, hello there. So sad. Not sure what circumstances allow someone with a seizure disorder to obtain a drivers license, but it sounds pretty risky to me. Glad no one else was hurt.
hello there January 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM
Sad to think he was down there for over 36 hours, i drove by the spot 3 times. Read that he had a malfunctioning Onstar device because of software 'updates'.
Michael Haniger January 23, 2014 at 02:55 PM
So sorry to hear about another crash on 17. I did notice a lot of sheriff activity on Black road around 3 pm and another sheriff near the crash site around 5pm. Maybe they were out looking for the vehicle. It's sad for sure. You can't emphasize driving safe enough.
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) January 23, 2014 at 06:00 PM
@hello there ... how can you conclude the victim in the KSBW report is this young man? This fatality on Highway 17 is being reported by CHP as occurring the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 21 and the KSBW story is reporting about another fatal car wreck on Highway 17 on Wednesday, Jan. 22. A little confused and waiting for CHP to call me back. Coroner not releasing ID of man in our report.
Robert Roch'e January 24, 2014 at 02:48 PM
People will never learn how to drive in the mountains especially on 17 from Los Gatos to Scotts Valley, this is one stretch of road that you don't want to be driving if you are intoxicated or if you are just too tired to be driving, falling asleep on this stretch of road is leathal. People drive just too fast on the mountain roads and is why many have accidents. It's sad to hear about anyone dying while driving anywhere and this man was so young.


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