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Ventura County

Driver Killed as His Car Plunges Off PCH

November 29, 2002|Fred Alvarez | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles man was killed early Thursday when his car veered off Pacific Coast Highway and tumbled down a rocky embankment at the ocean's edge.

Nilay Shrenikbha Shah was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2 a.m. accident near Sycamore Canyon, about two miles south of Point Mugu State Park, according to the Ventura County medical examiner's office.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Moriarty said Shah had just dropped off a group of friends at Mugu Rock and was southbound on Pacific Coast Highway.

The car, a silver Mercedes-Benz, went off the road as it rounded a curve at high speed, Moriarty said. The car tumbled 260 feet, landing on a rocky shelf just above the ocean.

Parts of the car were strewn along the rocks, evidence of the tremendous impact of the crash. The engine wound up in the water below.

"The car just kind of blew apart," Moriarty said.

A crowd gathered along the busy highway Thursday to watch tow truck drivers pluck the wreckage from the embankment.

That work briefly tied up traffic in both directions.

Moriarty said Shah, believed to be a Los Angeles-area college student, was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.

He said there was no evidence that alcohol played any part in the crash.

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