fatal crash sunset
FATAL COLLISION - Two people were killed in a crash on Mt. Hermon Road just past Skypark Drive towards Felton, Aug. 30. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

Two people were killed when the car they were in collided with a commercial van yesterday, just before 5pm, according to the Scotts Valley Police Department.

The crash occurred along Mount Hermon Road just past Skypark Drive toward Felton.

The man driving the gold sedan and one passenger, a woman, were pronounced dead on the scene by firefighters, SVPD Det. Sgt. Meredith Roberts said.

They have been identified by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office as Laurie E. Bryant, 58, and Steven L. Bryant, 62, of San Jose.

A girl riding with them was rushed to Skypark in an AMR ambulance.

firefighters at the accident scene
Firefighters pronounced two victims dead on the scene. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

From there, she was transported to a hospital, by air, in critical condition.

While the direction the vehicles were traveling in is still being determined, police described it as a head-on collision.

The man driving the white van “walked away with very minor injuries,” Roberts said.

coroner's office officials
Mount Hermon Road remained closed for several hours as coroner’s office officials arrived to remove the bodies and the California Highway Patrol took incident measurements. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)

Whether or not drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash remains unclear.

Mount Hermon Road was closed for several hours, snarling traffic during the evening rush hour, as coroner’s office officials arrived and the California Highway Patrol took measurements.

“The role of the coroner investigator is to conduct a scene investigation, which is part of a ‘medicolegal’ death investigation,” said Sheriff’s Office and Coroner spokesperson Ashley Keehn. “The conclusion of this investigation, along with the examination by the forensic pathologist, is what determines the cause and manner of death.”

According to the relevant laws in California, certain types of deaths must be investigated by the coroner, she added.

SVPD and CHP continue to work together to figure out what exactly went wrong.

*Article updated at 4:15pm Aug. 31, 2023 with decedents’ identities.

sunset after the coroner left
Police say the driver of the commercial van walked away with minor injuries. (Drew Penner / Press Banner)
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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


  1. Why is this tragic event being so hushed up? We get full details on every other insanity – especially if it has to do with the current national narratives of racism, gun control, etc. What happened here to the driver who walked away without a scratch and when will a full story be present? I’ve watched a couple of unmarked white delivery trucks driving recklessly through SV – and feel sick at the disrespect of other humans on the road in general. Do not let this be forgotten. I am so sorry to the families who lost these members to what at this point is a mysterious accident. “Move along nothing to see here” is not true.

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  2. R.I.P. Steve and Laurie, Say hey to Scottie! We should of all died in the Great Cadillac chase of 1978! What happened? You were the best driver that I knew!

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  3. I STILL can’t believe Laurie is gone and I will never see her again or hear one of her whacky comments only the two of us would understand…
    I’ve known her since we were both five years old…she lived seven houses away from me almost my entire life, and I’m 57. We still talked or texted each other almost every day…I miss that.
    I will forever wonder what the hell happened here, on this road, to have it end up this way.
    I feel like a part of me is gone and can’t be filled with anything or anyone else, ever.
    I hope I meet up with her again at some point in time…

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