Trona crash claims lives of mother, son

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Trona crash claims lives of mother, sonA Sunday evening rollover just north of Trona claimed the life of a 26-year-old Ridgecrest woman and her 6-year-old son.

California Highway Patrol officials report that Natasha Sanchez was driving a 1999 Chevy Blazer south on Trona Wildrose Road “at a high rate of speed.”

“For reasons unknown, Ms. Sanchez allowed the right-side tires of the vehicle to leave the roadway,” stated the CHP report. “In an attempt to control the vehicle, Ms. Sanchez overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn several times.”

Sanchez and her son, Logan, were both ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. But a 9-month-old girl, Remy, escaped nearly unscathed. She was transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital for minor injuries, but at press time had not been released.

A gofundme.com page posted soon after the accident stated that Sanchez’ brother would be taking custody of the child. An update later identified Sanchez’ mother as the appointed caregiver.

At press time, the campaign (gofundme.com/natasha-logan-memorial-fund) had raised some $3,500 toward its $10,000 goal to mitigate costs of services for the deceased and care for Remy.

“Natasha was spending the weekend with me and my family in Las Vegas,” Brianda Moore said on gofundme.

“Natasha’s family now has the unfortunate financial burden of dealing with two funeral expenses. This is going to put a huge toll on them … they need all the help they can get.”

The News Review reached out to Brianda to offer the family an opportunity to speak on behalf of Natasha and Logan.

“I have been in contact with Natasha’s mother and she has asked that I handle all the coverage of the accident,” Moore wrote. “Her only wish was to ask that everyone continue praying and that people light a candle for Natasha and Logan.”

She added that Remy is well and is expected to be released soon.

Pictured: Natasha and Logan Sanchez

Doug Bennett, founder of Magdalene Hope — an agency that helps young men and women rescued from human trafficking — announced a memorial in Natasha and Logan’s honor on Saturday, July 29, at 1 p.m. at the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church.

“We are planning on having a celebration service, not a funeral,” he wrote.

“Natasha’s family has asked that you come as you are (please dress casual) and are asking that you share your wonderful memories of them.

“Please bring pictures and stories written out for Remy to read and see in the future.”

While CHP officials did not respond to requests for accident statistics in the area of the accident, residents point to anecdotal evidence that bring into question the dangers of that stretch of road – particularly in light of the limited cell coverage that apparently impaired samaritans from getting help right away.

A Los Angeles-based hiker who identified himself as Kevin was among the first to arrive on the scene. He said he didn’t see the accident, but believed he arrived only moments after the Sanchez family vehicle rolled off the road.

With the spotty cell service, bystanders were having difficulty getting a call out to 9-1-1. Kevin said that he was able to get enough signal with a cell booster, but the call kept getting dropped after a few seconds. He finally sent a low-data message to friends in Ridgecrest, prompting them to call authorities.

One couple attempted to transport young Remy to RRH, but was intercepted by Liberty Ambulance.

Kevin said that authorities arrived on the scene about 40 minutes after the crash.

“It would be great to get a signal in both that area and Panamint Valley. The other side of the ridge is a dead spot for probably 40 minutes. If the accident had occurred anywhere over the mountain pass, it would have made things much, much harder.”

He said he was surprised fire and rescue did not arrive with the ambulance and sheriff deputies. The Blazer was running and inverted, and bystanders — who were unable to turn off the motor — were worried that the vehicle was at risk for a fire.

“I really would like to see better cell coverage in some of those areas where there are so many people traveling in a remote area and with extreme heat conditions.”

Additional information about the Sanchez family will be published in future editions as it becomes available.

Story First Published: 2017-07-28