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UPDATE: Man reported missing found dead near Highway 178

Mouth fo the Canyon Closed
Posted at 12:42 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:12:19-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — (UPDATE 12/9): The California Highway Patrol has provided new details on the investigation that closed down Highway `178 near the mouth of the Kern River Canyon.

According to CHP the driver of a 2015 Toyota was traveling along the 178 near Democrat Road at a high rate of speed when for unknown reasons the vehicle veered to the right where it went off the road and landed at the bottom of a rocky embankment.

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and suffered from fatal injuries. He was reported missing on Monday.

Both the driver and the vehicle were located the next day by a Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

The collision is still under investigation. It is unknown if alcohol and drugs were a factor in the incident. Anyone with any information is asked to call CHP at 661-396-6600.

(UPDATE 4 PM): The California Highway Patrol is investigating after a man's body was found inside a vehicle that had driven off Highway 178 at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon.

According to CHP, the vehicle was found over the side of the canyon around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Hwy. 178 was closed in both directions while officials worked to recover the vehicle. It has since reopened.

CHP said the man had been reported missing by the Kern County Sheriff's Office Monday.

The investigation is ongoing.


Highway 178 is currently closed in both directions at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon due to a single-vehicle crash and recovery operations, according to Caltrans.

It is unknown at this time if there are any injuries.

Caltrans said there is no estimated time of reopening at this time.