High school sweethearts killed in Hacienda Heights crash

- Authorities on Monday released the names of a teenage couple killed in a high-speed crash on a Pomona (60) Freeway off-ramp in Hacienda Heights that left two other people critically injured.

The two-vehicle crash occurred about 7 p.m. Sunday at Seventh Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

George A. Steward and Sabrina D. Castillo, both age 18 of Hacienda Heights, died at the scene, the CHP reported.

Steward was driving a 2015 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and Castillo was his passenger, the CHP reported. The two had recently graduated from Los Altos High School and were dating, according to family and friends.

The occupants of the other vehicle, a 2013 Lexus ES 350 sedan, were hospitalized. They were identified as Key J. Kim, 68, and his passenger, Young A. Kim, 62, both of Hacienda Heights.

According to the CHP, Key J. Kim was driving the Lexus on the Seventh Avenue off-ramp from eastbound 60 Freeway, approaching a stop sign at the end of the ramp. Meanwhile, Steward was driving the Toyota north on Seventh Avenue, south of the freeway.

"Due to Kim driving his Lexus ES 350 at an extremely high rate of speed, and his failure to stop at the stop sign and marked limit line at the end of the (Seventh Avenue) freeway off-ramp, Kim was unable to negotiate his intended right turn, causing the Lexus ES 350 to bottom out prior to entering the southbound Seventh Avenue lanes,'' the CHP reported.

"The Lexus proceeded to travel across the southbound Seventh Avenue lanes, colliding with the raised concrete center median separating the southbound and northbound lanes of Seventh Avenue,'' according to the CHP.

The Lexus subsequently became airborne and collided with the Toyota Tacoma, which was northbound on Seventh Avenue. The Lexus sheared off the top of the Toyota Tacoma's cab, and the truck came to rest in the No. 2 lane of Seventh Avenue, south of the freeway, according to the CHP.


The force of the collision sent the Lexus careening end-over-end off of the roadway, and it landed on its roof in a Denny's restaurant parking lot east of Seventh Avenue, the CHP reported.

Northbound Seventh Avenue was closed for several hours while an investigation was conducted. Alcohol and drugs were not suspected to be a factor in the crash, the CHP reported.

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