Two male teenagers were killed when their vehicle went over the side of a canyon in the hills above Malibu on Tuesday, Aug. 25, around 2:30 p.m at Stunt Road south of Sylvan Glen Road.
According to a California Highway Patrol press release, a 1996 Mazda Miata driven by Bernard Makuaole III and Adrian Salinas was traveling northbound through a curve in the road at an unknown speed when it veered into the opposing lane, off the paved portion of the road and down a steep mountainside. The vehicle came to rest on its roof.
After receiving a 9-1-1 call reporting the pair missing, CHP was dispatched to the area searching for the two teens. Officers eventually located the vehicle over the side of the canyon, with the assistance of a CHP helicopter.
The 17-year-old driver, Makuaole, initially survived the crash with life-threatening injuries. He was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center by a Los Angeles County Fire Department rescue helicopter and later succumbed to his injuries.
Malibu Search and Rescue recovered the body of the 18-year-old passenger, Salinas, who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Weather conditions at the time of the crash were clear.
The collision was still under investigation by California Highway Patrol, West Valley, as of Tuesday, Sept. 1.
The victims’ high school, ACE Charter High School in Camarillo, announced that both victims had died as of Wednesday, Aug. 26. Both young men had graduated in the ACE class of 2020. Both were from Oxnard.
“They were easy-going, super friendly, and didn’t deserve to pass this way,” the ACE Charter High School Principal Joseph Clausi said in a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 26. “I have heard from both their mothers, and both state how overwhelmed they are by the show of outreach and support, and asked that we respect their privacy at this time.”
Multiple online fundraisers have been set up in the boys’ honor, including “Adrian and Bernard” organized by John Middleton (gofundme.com/f/adrian-and-bernard) and “Memorial for Bernard Makuaole III” organized by Rachel Hernandez (gofundme.com/f/memorial-funds-for-bernard-makuaole).
“My son Thomas … went to school with Bernard,” Andrea Tasca commented on one of the fundraiser pages. “He remembers him as being kind and smart.” Martha and Stephen Higgins commented, “We love you Adrian, we will forever miss your bright presence”
Commented Kyle Kadyendiek: “I miss my friends.”