911 Call Captures Family's Final Moments

A CHP officer and 3 family members were killed.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    An aerial image shows the wreckage Friday, August 28.

    In a 911 call released Thursday, a CHP officer and three relatives can be heard telling each other to hold on and pray before their car veered off the highway, drove over an embankment, flipped and exploded into flames killing all four inside the car. 

    Mark Saylor, 45, his wife Cleofe, 45, their daughter Mahala, 13 and brother-in-law Chris Lastrella, 38, died in the August 28 crash on Highway 125.

    A preliminary finding in the investigation indicates the accident may have occurred after the accelerator got stuck on a floor mat, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

    Witnesses reported seeing a Lexus weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed. The driver tried to make a left turn, but he was going too fast and struck a Ford Explorer. The Lexus broke through a fence and struck a dirt embankment, catapulting it through the air more than 100 feet.

    The vehicle landed in dense vegetation near a riverbed and caught fire.

    Memorial Service for CHP Officer, Family

    [DGO] Memorial Service for CHP Officer, Family
    Hundreds gathered to remember a CHP officer, his wife, teenage daughter and brother-in-law who were all killed in a fiery crash in Santee.

    The 2009 Lexus ES 350 was a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon.  Investigators said it was equipped with all-weather mats, designed for Lexus vehicles made between 2004 and 2009.  

    It's still not clear, however, if they're the same mats that were recalled in 2007 due to concerns that they could trap the gas pedal in the open position.

    In the 911 call, a man can be heard telling the emergency dispatcher "We're in trouble. There's no brakes." The dispatcher asks if they are able to turn off the car. While the dispatcher is trying to help the caller, you can hear the man say the car is approaching an intersection.

    Next, the passengers tell each other to hold on and someone in the car tells the others to pray.

    Saylor was driving the car according to investigators.

    All of the victims died from blunt force trauma either to the head or torso. The county's medical examiner declared all deaths as the result of an accident.