ANTELOPE VALLEY – A male passenger is dead and a driver is in custody after a high-speed crash Saturday night, authorities said.
Elder Higueros, 29, of Van Nuys was arrested, and alcohol was believed to be a contributing factor in the single-vehicle collision, which occurred around 9:16 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, just south of Avenue N, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
A preliminary investigation revealed Higueros was speeding northbound on the 14 Freeway, in a 2007 Toyota, when the vehicle drifted off the left side of the roadway onto the dirt median, the CHP report states.
Higueros lost control, and the Toyota careened back across the roadway and plowed through a wood/metal guardrail on the east road edge. The vehicle continued out of control and traveled up a dirt embankment before flipping onto its side in the No. 3 lane, the CHP report states.
The No. 2 and No. 3 lanes of the 14 Freeway, near the Avenue N exit, were blocked for approximately four hours as CHP personnel investigated the incident.
The collision remains under investigation.
Higueros was booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station around 3:45 a.m. Sunday on $1 million bail.
UPDATED @ 8:15 pm: The deceased has been identified as 29-year-old Joseph Ralph Contreraz of Arleta, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.