Update: Victims' Names Released After Truck Plunges More Than 900 Feet Over Cliff
Updated On: Feb 21 2013 11:19:11 AM CST
Two people were killed and two people suffered major injuries Wednesday afternoon when a pickup truck careened more than 900 feet down a steep cliff in Butte County.
The CHP sent out a news release identifying the victims. The two people who were killed are Tyler Matlock, 24 of Modesto, and Kara Hanson, 39 of Oroville. They were both passengers in the back seat.
The driver and front seat passenger survived. The driver was Charles Taylor, 19 of Chico. He suffered a broken left leg. The other survivor is Samuel Montgomery Larson, 19 of Chico. The CHP said he suffered a cut to his head.
The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Ford F-250 pickup truck ran off a narrow dirt portion of Concow Road near Mountain Pine Lane. The location is about 3 miles above Lake Concow in the Sierra foothills of Butte County.
CHP Officer Caleb Stewart said Taylor told rescuers he was distracted by the rear passengers and looked into the back seat. That's when the truck ran off the road, and down the cliff. The truck careened more than 900 feet down the canyon before coming to rest.
No one in the truck was wearing a seatbelt and all four people were ejected from the vehicle.
Taylor and Larson hiked to the top of the embankment where they were able to hale down a passerby who called 911.
It took rescuers several hours to reach the truck and pull out the survivors. Due to the remote area and lack of cell phone service it was difficult to locate the crash. CHP patrol units and medical personnel arrived at approximately 5:25 p.m.
Passengers Tyler Matlock and Kara Hanson were located near the overturned truck. Matlock was declared dead. Hanson was alive, but succumbed to her injuries before she could be lifted out of the canyon.
The CHP said the cause of the collision appears to be distracted driving. There was alcohol present in the vehicle, but investigators said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.
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