The father of one of two teenagers killed in a crash involving a dump truck in the Cajon Pass Tuesday night said his son was the “best young man” he knew and called for a redesign of the steep offramp where the wreck occurred.
John Cabrera, a popular 16-year-old student at Serrano High School, was one of five people riding in a Chrysler PT Cruiser that was struck by the truck carrying wet cement. Cabrera and 18-year-old Nicole Lyle died in the wreck.
The other passengers suffered severe injuries.
Cabrera’s father, John Cabrera Sr., said the crash could have been prevented as he mourned the loss of his son.
“We had so many dreams for him,” Cabrera said. “Little John was the best.”
Del Taco employee Brett Coffey watched as the truck’s brakes failed on the offramp of Highway 138, striking the PT Cruiser, taking it down an embankment and landing on top of it.
“Almost like a runaway train is what it seemed like,” Coffey said.
In his two years working in the area, Coffey said he’s seen at least four crashes on the offramp.
“Once you get off this you’re going to go right into a building, or hit a car or go off a cliff,” Coffey said. “So, it’s very dangerous if you’re coming off really fast.”
Cabrera said he hopes the crash will lead to a redesign of the offramp to avoid any future tragedies.
“I don’t want anybody to feel what I’m feeling,” Cabrera said.
Caltrans officials said if the CHP investigation reveals safety concerns about the offramp, they will address it immediately.