PALMDALE – A 22-year-old driver dozed off at the wheel early Friday morning and caused a single-vehicle crash, which killed two of his passengers, authorities said.
Palmdale residents Alexander Alvarez and Michael Zavala, both 21, were pronounced dead at the scene of the fatal collision, which occurred around 5 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, on Sierra Highway, south of Pearblossom Highway, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
Alvarez and Zavala were passengers in a 2009 Honda, driven by 22-year-old William Navarro of Palmdale, the CHP report states.
Navarro was driving northbound on Sierra Highway in the No. 2 lane at about 55 mph, according to the CHP report.
“[Navarro] stated he dozed off prior to the collision and woke up when one of the passengers in the vehicle yelled out,” the CHP report states.
The front end of the Honda crashed into a metal guardrail on the right shoulder of the road, and the impact sent the guardrail through the right side of the vehicle’s windshield, according to the CHP report.
The guardrail struck Alvarez, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and then struck Zavala, who was sitting in the right back seat, and both suffered fatal injuries, according to the CHP report.
Nineteen-year-old Stephanie Estrada was sitting in the left back seat and was lying in Zavala’s lap at the time of the collision, the CHP report states. Estrada sustained lacerations to her right shoulder and was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital for her injuries, according to the CHP report.
Navarro complained of pain to his head, but he was not transported to the hospital, the CHP report states.