Family of man killed in Pescadero State Beach crash ‘devastated,’ puzzled’
The family of a man who died alongside a child when their truck plunged into the Pacific Ocean at Pescadero State Beach grasped for answers Sunday about what led up to the fatal crash, and why their pickup barreled off a 30-foot cliff into the ocean.
Ipolito “Poli” Anaya, 39, died in the wreck Friday night, according to his sister, Elizabeth Anaya, 31. She said authorities told her that they are still working to positively identify the child who died in the crash, and that a search is underway for a third possible victim who may have been swept out to sea.
“We’re devastated,” said Elizabeth Anaya, who identified her brother, Ipolito “Poli” Anaya as the man killed in the crash. “I’m lost. I’m trying to think what could have happened — what could have caused them to keep on driving, drive through Highway 1 and the parking lot that’s here. It’s horrible.”
The crash happened just before 9 p.m. Friday when a Toyota Tundra going west on Pescadero Creek Road appeared to drive through the Highway 1 intersection “at an unknown speed,” according to the California Highway Patrol. The pickup continued through a nearby beach parking lot before plunging over a 30-foot cliff into the Pacific Ocean.
The pickup came to a rest upside down and partially submerged in the water.
“For an unknown reason, the driver of the Toyota failed to slow and stop at the intersection” with the highway, the agency said in a press release.
Emergency crews pulled one man’s body from the truck, and later found a child dead in the pickup as well, said Art Montiel, a highway patrol spokesman. A third person also may have been in the vehicle at the time at the crash, and the highway patrol was working Sunday afternoon with the U.S. Coast Guard to search the area for that person.
Authorities have not released the names of the people who died in the crash, and they are still trying to positively identify at least one person who died. Further details about the child, and the third possible victim, also were not released.
Elizabeth Anaya, 31, said the crash has left her family in shocked disbelief. Her brother — a resident of Freedom, a small town near Watsonville — went to a barbecue near Pescadero that night. The next day, she said authorities notified her family that her brother had died in the wreck.
“My brother was a big-hearted person,” Elizabeth Anaya said. “He had so many friends. It’s crazy — people that have found out, they’re just in disbelief.”
“We’re trying to figure out what happened and how it happened,” she added. “We’re puzzled. We’re torn.”
Anyone with information about the crash can call the highway patrol at 650-779-7200.