CHP Officer, Family to Be Remembered

A 911 call made minutes before the accident said the car's accelerator was stuck

By Michelle Wayland
|  Saturday, Sep 5, 2009  |  Updated 5:51 AM PDT
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Saylor Family Killed in Lexus Accident

An image taken from the air shows the vehicle resting in the brush just off the road.

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Friends ID CHP Officer, Family as Crash Victims

Four people died Friday when a Lexus sedan lost control on the highway, crashed near Mission Gorge Road in Santee and burst into flames.

Friends ID CHP Officer, Family as Crash Victims

Four people died Friday when a Lexus sedan lost control on the highway, crashed near Mission Gorge Road in Santee and burst into flames.
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A CHP officer, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law -- all killed in a fiery crash in Santee -- will be remembered Saturday at a memorial service in Chula Vista.

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

The officer was off-duty at the time of the crash.

CHP investigators said they received a 911 call from Saylor’s wife saying their car’s accelerator was stuck.

Witnesses reported seeing a Lexus heading northbound on 125 weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed. CHP officials said the driver tried to make a left turn when the freeway ended at Mission Gorge Road, but he was going too fast and struck a Ford Explorer.

The Lexus then 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.

All of the victims died from blunt force trauma either to the head or torso.

Saylor was driving the car according to investigators. The car was a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus in El Cajon where Saylor's personal Lexus was being serviced. A company spokesperson said everyone was "shocked" when a deputy told them about the crash. Their "hearts go out to the families" but they did not want to comment on the cause of the crash saying they don't know what happened and don't want to speculate.

A public Celebration of Life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Chapel, 1771 E. Palomar St., Chula Vista, CHP Officer Brad Baehr said. A viewing will be held from 2 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m.

The family has requested donations be made to The Mark Saylor Family Memorial Fund, USE Credit Union, 8889 Rio San Diego, suite 102, San Diego, 92108. The credit union's telephone number is (619) 725-3904. Refer to account number 80909390.

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