911 Call Released In Fatal Santee Crash

Floor Mats May Have Caused Car Crash

10News obtained a 911 call that detailed the situation that led to a fiery crash in Santee that killed an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law.

Mark Saylor and his wife Cleofe, both 45, their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala, and 38-year-old brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella, were killed Aug. 28 after Lastrella called 911 and said the accelerator was stuck in their 2009 Lexus.

10News obtained a copy of the 911 call made by Lastrella, who described the situation to the dispatcher.

Lastrella: "We're on North 125 and our accelerator is stuck."

911 Dispatcher: "I'm sorry?"

Lastrella: "Our accelerator is stuck. We're on 125."

911 Dispatcher: "Northbound 125. What are you passing?"

Lastrella: "We're going 120. Mission Gorge. We're in trouble. We can't … there is no brakes. End freeway half mile."

911 dispatcher: "You can't do anything like turn off your engine?"

Lastrella: "We're approaching the intersection. We're approaching the intersection. We're approaching the intersection."

Others in the care are heard saying "hold on" and "pray."

The Lexus was a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus in El Cajon while their vehicle was being serviced, authorities said.

Witnesses said the vehicle was going more than 100 mph on state Route 125 shortly before it collided with an SUV, crashed through a fence and ended up on fire in the bed of the San Diego River.

A preliminary investigation revealed the Lexus was equipped with "all-weather" floor mats, designed for Lexus vehicles made between 2004 and 2009, lead sheriff's investigator Sgt. Scott Hills told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

All-weather mats installed in 2007 and 2008 models of the Lexus ES 350 were recalled by Toyota in November 2007 due to complaints that, if not properly installed, the mats could slide forward and trap the gas pedal.

Hill told the Union-Tribune that when the mat is not in the right position and the accelerator is pushed down, it becomes caught between ribs of the rubber mat and will not release.

The sheriff's department, CHP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all investigating the cause of the crash. Recovered from the wreckage were the brakes, the accelerator and the floors mats, Hill told the Union-Tribune.

A full report on the cause of the crash should be complete in a few weeks, he said.