Los Padres National Forest Crash Victims Identified as Young Man and Woman From Santa Paula

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A creek along Maricopa Highway, near Wheeler Springs in the Los Padres National Forest, as seen in a Google Street View image in April of 2012.

A creek along Maricopa Highway, near Wheeler Springs in the Los Padres National Forest, as seen in a Google Street View image in April of 2012.

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Authorities on Saturday released the identities of a 19-year-old man and 18-year-old woman who were killed when their car tumbled off the side of a road deep in the Los Padres National Forest and into a creek.

Absalom Rivas and Ruth Cortez Zuniga, both of Santa Paula, died in Friday’s crash along Maricopa Highway, just north of Nordhoff Ridge Road near Wheeler Springs, according to officer J. McKay of the California Highway Patrol’s Ventura-area office.

There were no known witnesses to the crash, officials said. It was unclear exactly what time it occurred.

A passing driver spotted the wreckage about 4:50 p.m. and called 911, McKay said in a written statement.

A 1991 Toyota Corolla had gone off the roadway, tumbled about 200 feet down an embankment and ended up overturned in the Matilija Creek, according to CHP officials and logs.

Paramedics made their way down to the scene and pronounced Rivas, the driver, and Zuniga, who had been a passenger, dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation.

Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s Ventura-area office at 805-477-4174.

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