Mark Saylor, 45, a 19-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol, his wife Cleofe, daughter Mahala, 13 and brother-in-law Chris Lastrella, were all killed in a fiery San Diego car accident the evening of August 28, 2009, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. The fatal car crash was apparently caused by a stuck accelerator in the loaned Lexus that Saylor was driving making it go out of control and collide with a Ford Explorer SUV at the intersection of State Route 125 and Mission Gorge Road in Santee.

The Lexus continued through the intersection, hitting a concrete curb and through a picket fence. The car then hit a dirt embankment, became air-borne and rolled over several times before coming to stop at a dry patch on the San Diego river basin where it caught fire. None of the victims have been positively identified yet by the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office. The victims were identified by CHP officials who confirmed that Mark Saylor had checked out that particular Lexus for a family trip.

My heart goes out to the Saylor family and their friends for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this family. They will certainly be in my prayers.

San Diego Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and 141 injuries involving car accidents in Santee, California. In San Diego County as a whole, 268 fatalities and 14,641 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of car accidents.

Based on this newspaper report, this fatal California car accident was the result of a mechanical malfunction in the Lexus. CHP investigators say the car accident happened two minutes after they received a 911 call from one of the Lexus’ passengers–most likely Saylor’s wife–who reported that the car’s accelerator was stuck and that they could not stop. Eyewitnesses told CHP officials the car was traveling in excess of 100 mph. Investigators are also looking into where the loaner car came from–a rental company, dealership or mechanic shop.

California Auto Products Liability Attorneys

The Saylor’ family would be well-advised to immediately contact a reputed California personal injury lawyer who is experienced and has a winning track record with auto products liability cases. It would be crucial to preserve whatever is left of the Lexus so it can be carefully examined by an expert for any vehicle defects, mechanical malfunction or other evidence. In auto product liability cases, the vehicle itself is the biggest piece of evidence. The best California personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation to injured victims and/or their families.