17-year-old killed, 2 others injured in rollover crash off 5 Freeway in Downey

BySid Garcia and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Teen killed, 2 others injured in crash off 5 Freeway in Downey
EMBED <>More Videos

A 17-year-old was killed and two others were seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash on the southbound 5 Freeway in Downey.

DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A 17-year-old was killed and two others were seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash on the southbound 5 Freeway in Downey.

The crash happened Saturday night north of the 605 Freeway when a 2010 Nissan Altima veered to the right, collided into a raised asphalt curb, struck a light pole and then rolled over several times down a dirt embankment, according to a press release from the California Highway Patrol.

Officials say the two passengers in the car were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected.

One of those passengers was identified as Carson resident Jaylon Connish, a football player and student at Warren High School. All three were taken to St. Francis Medical Center, but Connish did not survive.

Details on the conditions of the driver, 17-year-old Dajon Hancox, and the other unidentified passenger were not released. Both were Connish's teammates.

On Monday morning, students and teammates gathered in front of a growing memorial on campus, visibly upset over Connish's passing.

Student Ximena Pescio said it felt "so unreal" and added that Connish was always friendly and many she knew called him "Smiley."

"He always found a way to uplift anybody, including myself, and being able to give him a hug every day and talk to him everyday was something that could really uplift someone's spirit," she said.

Warren High School football coach Kevin Pearson says Connish was one of the hardest working kids, not only on the field but also in the classroom.

Off-camera, one senior told Eyewitness News that Connish had transferred to Warren when he was junior. The two of them were headed to play at Western New Mexico University next year. They were also going to be roommates.

"Our Downey Unified family is heartbroken that we have lost one of our Warren High School students, a young man with a bright future ahead of him who has been such a big part of our Downey Unified family. Our prayers are with our two students who are currently fighting and, as a Downey Unified family, we will rally around them and their families to support them during this extremely challenging time," a spokesperson for the Downey Unified School District said in a statement.

School officials said mental health support staff would be on campus Monday to talk to any students who need it.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.