Man Struck, Killed on 101 Committed Suicide, Coroner Rules

The death near Laurel Canyon Boulevard was reported at 9:42 p.m. Saturday.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office has ruled a suicide the death of an Irvine man who crashed into a guardrail on the westbound Ventura (101) Freeway, got out of his car and was running into oncoming traffic in eastbound lanes.

The death near Laurel Canyon Boulevard was reported at 9:42 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

An autopsy showed George Joseph Szkiba, 43, died of multiple blunt-force trauma, coroner's Lt. Joe Bale said.

A black Lexus LS430 drifted off the shoulder of the road and hit a guardrail, the car coming to rest in the No. 1 lane, just west of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Szkiba got out of his car, ran into eastbound lanes and was fatally
struck by a black BMW 750i driven by a 76-year-old Encino man, Bale said.

—City News Service

Jo September 15, 2011 at 03:31 AM
I changed my mind...@Lauren..I understand your frustration...even though the police did nothing wrong by having their hand's on their gun (think about it, a guy running out of his car into oncoming traffic, sounds like he was running from the police, and they didn't know what they were getting into when the arrived on scene, they just want to get home to their family)...that being said...George didn't need his pulse taken, it wouldn't have mattered to his outcome, but like I said on a previous post, my training taught us to look like you are doing something when there are people present, because the psyche of the witnesses and family needs that...so, I wish they had done it, not for George, he needed what you and Aynne provided, a last touch of humanity before passing...but you guys sure needed it and I get that...that part of my training makes so much more sense to me now...however, I do not hold the first responder's guilty of anything, that is something that their superiors or the civilian complaint board need to look at...and they probably would allow you to make inquiries or complaints...do what you need to do to heal...
Aynne Pryce September 15, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Hi everyone, George's funeral was yesterday. I thought you might like to see this. It was put together for George's memorial and it might help see George as he really was. Peace, love and light to George, his family and friends. Aynne http://youtu.be/FyNrs9lgfwU
Jo September 16, 2011 at 01:01 AM
That is a beautiful tribute Aynne, thank you for sharing...it really does put a face to the discussion...I hope nothing but God's best for his family and for all of you affected by such a horrible trauma...and I pray that George will find eternal rest and peace...
Craig Clough (Editor) September 16, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Patch spoke with the coroner's office today. George Szkiba had threatened that day to kill himself by crashing his car. Read the story here - http://patch.com/A-mfWB
Craig Clough (Editor) September 16, 2011 at 07:52 PM
In regard to the police response to the accident, Szkiba was pronounced dead on the scene and was hit by a car moving up to 70 mph. There was little that could have been done to help him with such traumatic injuries. http://patch.com/A-mfWB
MM September 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM
wow, maybe Patch needs to speak to the police department to get the real story from the accident before posting ridiculous articles with false information.
Craig Clough (Editor) September 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM
I'm not sure what you find ridiculous or false in the story. I spoke to the chief coroner investigator myself today. This is very solid and direct information.
KG September 17, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Craig, He was talking about the original story and the many speculations by posters.
Craig Clough (Editor) September 17, 2011 at 06:04 AM
Are you sure? He (or she) said "Patch" not "posters." There has been nothing contradictory in the series of stories. The first reported the accident, the second reported that it was ruled a suicide by the coroner, and the third added the coroner's details.
KG September 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Don't use common sense. Otherwise you won't accept most of the posts on this topic. There has been a large "lacking of clarity" in the interpretation and writing on this whole exchange. People have been writing quickly with their emotions on high and there are some projecting their own agendas. I think Patch has only put forth the information released. You guys did fine.
Jo September 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM
I think you did above and beyond by making the phone call...
Lauren Ellen October 19, 2011 at 03:03 AM
for my last post i believe George ran out of delusion. i believe when he knelt down and put his hands up while the BMW was approaching him, was in an attempt to jump over the car. the circumstances of his health and mental well being are none of my business. and actually hold no case in court. the fact that his window was open and airbag off gives me speculation that he crawled out of his window. disorientation can occur in many forms. although I am not trained in the field, there are people who are. and if there were shocks performed by the fire department than obviously he still had some life in him. he didn't want to die from what I understand and have complied from the situation. others rude comments and suicidal placements are a disgrace and i apologize for any of mine. George is resting in peace knowing there are kind hearted souls out there to defend him after his departure. as a previous officer for the united states I imagine he would want one soul such as myself to fight for his rights and well being. which i have. from the second i launched myself out of my car and ran to his rescue. George was a strong soul and is an angel to all that cared for him. I see people from time to time that remind me of George and it makes me think about what happened.....life is delicate. treat it as such. amen. god be with me. i would give my shirt off my own back as would George. people of our kind are hard to come by.......obviously......
KG October 19, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Yeah, you're such an angel. Sheesh ! Believe what you want, but don't project or judge others by your limited experience. George was a stranger to you. You don't know really what kind of man he was. His death, like the death of any human or animal for that matter is tragic. That doesn't make him angle either. He could have climbed out the window or just shut the door. So romanticize the situation if it helps you to deal with it, but don't judge harshly those that do not.
Jo October 19, 2011 at 08:02 PM
KG, well said..I am sensitive to the shock of the witnesses, but I have to disagree with Lauran as well...his own family told the coroner that he was suicidal and that he was going to crash his car to do it..then a couple of days later he does just that...his raising his hands, was just a reflex...it's human nature to want to survive...but you can override your human nature, otherwise there wouldn't be suicide.. and they shock dead people, it doesnt mean there was life in him..sorry but this needs to be said..people who commit suicide are depressed and sick..but they are also selfish..it's extremely unfair to those who loved and depended on him..even the letter from his children on the video showed he had issues..for that I feel bad about..there is a true lack in mental health help in Los Angeles due to the budget cuts..had he availed himself of this help, he may have still been alive..had the people that he told his suicidal ideations, call and report it to the authorities, he would have been on a 72 hr hold where he couldn't harm himself (I'm not blaming anyone, but an it is an impt. lesson in taking threats seriously and to get them help ASAP)..this is a tragic story, and more than just an accident, if you follow the evidence, and I am not here to trash George, but I want the truth..Lauren, if you knew for sure it was a suicide, i.e..how would you feel that he intentionally put you in that position?? How do you think the man who hit him would feel? or his kids??
Lauren Ellen October 25, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Just to inform the ignorant that believe his family thought it was a suicide, you are wrong. Just because he relapsed and it may appeared as if his fiance may have thought it was a suicide does not mean it was a suicide in fact in regards to the "truth". No one knows the truth. No one ever will. But I will say that his fiance has just contacted me via his guestbook and would like to speak to me and get my statement because the police have failed to complete a full investigation. Obviously she is questioning their credibility as well. The mother to his soon to be child. The child of a fallen officer. and the LAPD cannot complete a full investigation.....lots of speculation to be had here..... as for myself I will not be reporting anything more on this patch. For real this time because I am now an accountable witness to the incident. Which I am pretty sure very few of you here are.... Good luck to you all :)
Lauren Ellen October 25, 2011 at 09:09 PM
I forgot to say good karma for all the lovely statements on here......I'm sure his family would say the same.
Craig Clough (Editor) October 25, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Lauren, it's important to note that because this incident occurred on the 101, the California Highway Patrol has had jurisdiction over the investigation, not the LAPD.
Lauren Ellen March 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Sonya. I can help you with this. I believe they ruled it a suicide due to Ashley's statements that he jumped into the lanes and considered it was suicidal. Her boyfriend also told the 911 disbatch this as well I believe. They were the second car to the scene. Aynne the first. Myself the third. I was the first to attend to him because my car behind him and my brother and friend directing traffic make it safe. Ashley just stood there staring, I guess she was pregnant. This was by all means an accident. Drugs or no drugs, George was on his way home to his beloved fiance. As I said before addiction is a disease just as deadly as cancer. And shouldn't be judged with such negativity. As for marijuana, he may have had a medical marijuana license where no charges would have been enforced that being the case. It has studies proving reduction in anxiety. But by no means should be drive with in 24 hours of medicating. Nonetheless, still an ACCIDENT! !!!
Lauren Ellen March 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Few spelling errors * you have my number Sonya. I know some lawyers. I'll call around. Pro bono of course :)
Sonya Barnard March 28, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Aynne Pryce, Why did you delete all your comments you made regarding this story? A day after I wrote the truth. You don't want to defend your friend driving who had been drinking? I'm curious as to why you left this very juicy detail out of the very dramatic story you posted all over the internet after the accident. You are not going to explain your horrific description of George after this accident that was not true. What have you done with the photos you were taking with your cell phone at the scene? Saving them for a book? And was George still alive during the moments you were with him or was that bullshit too? Gosh, there were actually many details you left out and then these others you added in. Points for creativity but you fail as a human being with a heart. Enlightened my ass!!
Lauren Ellen March 28, 2012 at 04:12 AM
So maybe George was suffering from addiction and depression. Much unlike many Americans .... not. This does not make him the only one possibly under the influence. Apparently an officer smelt alcohol on the alleged driver of the BMW. I believe due to 911 reports, this was ruled suicide. I believe Ashley and her boyfriend reported that he jumped into the road appearing to be a suicidal move. Speculation needed.
Aynne Pryce March 28, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Sonya, I feel very sorry for your loss, but I am not going to argue with you. You are being abusive here. The driver took a breathalyzer test. So who's creating stories. I and Lauren saw George in his last moments and described him the same way, so please don't call me names or try to bully me. I am still traumatized by it all and want no part of your misperceptions and name-calling. Read the police report again. I understand your desperation but want no part of your venom or sordid recalculations for your own purposes. You didn't mention the cocaine that was in George's bloodstream. Yes, there was a hole in his gut that I can't get out of my mind - I was leaning over him and speaking with him during his last moments, talking with him, telling him I love him so he would feel that love as he made his transistion. Something you should have told him, most probably. You did tell the cops when he threatened suicide before he went missing, when you turned in the report. And you're forgetting that he did unfortunately jump infront of our car which could have caused a tremendous pile-up and many deaths had the driver not held fast to the steering wheel. Poor soul, the driver, still in a deep trauma, as you would be too, had it happened to you. He smashed across our windshield moving the whole dashboard 6", and I still see his face and body smashed up looking in at me, the whole windsheild caved-in. he would have landed in anyone elses' laps had it not been for the strength of the BMW
Ashley March 28, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I just want to set one thing straight: unless Ashley is also the name of the woman in the first car (not Aynne; the one who was pregnant and with her boyfriend), Lauren is referring to me. I was not with my boyfriend; I was with a relative. I also was not/have never been pregnant. Also, I did not give a statement to the CHP. Three people were already on the phone with 911, and since I did not see George until he was already on the South side, there isn't anything I have to offer that could help (other than contradicting other witnesses statements about what transpired after). And since Lauren's brother yelled at us to move our car, we left.
JAGR March 29, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I don't know how productive this is...Sonya, it was very traumatic for everybody involved and some things might not be lies, but misperceptions...any cop will tell you that if you ask five people what happened, you will get five different stories to some degree...the basics are the same, George crashed and got out of his car and ran into traffic...everyone can split hairs and scream louder as to who knew what he was thinking, feeling or doing in those last moments of his life, but the honest truth is that we will never fully know...it's just one of those sad things...Sonya, you know George more than anybody, and you know inside your heart what the answer is, whether or not you want to share your heart here or not...trust what your heart tells you and move on and live your life...this is just a news paper full of people making comments, none of it have a real effect on anything, but it's hurting you more to read it and to engage with it...you deserve peace, you deserve to be able to pick up the pieces of your life and move on...you have the right to heal and to grieve...you also have a right to answers, but I don't see you getting them here...everyone has their perceptions, perceptions formed during a traumatic event..so it's bound to be skewed...don't take it personally, it's not worth it...if there are people here lying and making up stories for their benefit, then shame on them, but that will just open up your wounds...move on for the children's sake..they need you!!
Lauren Ellen March 29, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Hey JAGR I appreciate your removal of the comment that I deleted all of my posts? Messed up the names I guess but seriously the things you said are defamation of character. As are many comments on the Patch. Thanks for your removal of your nasty invalid comment. I must agree you on Sonya's behalf not to engage in this maddness and yes statements are going to be skewed depending on the witness. Although I wouldn't mind seeing a BAC level myself. But Aynne was a genuine person from what I saw and the accusation of it being a suicide should have been investigated immediately. Drugs being the source of the accident or mechanical errors a investigation should have been done. I believe Ashley and her boyfriend calling 911 said he jumped into the road. Marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol can effect your orientation with any use. Both parties should yb been fully investigated. No one is in the position to determine it was a suicide. And the difference matters when it comes to insurance. A major unspoken issue here. George suffered blunt force trauma. That's obvious. The speculation is on the CHP, Irvine Police, LFD, and the Corner.
Lauren Ellen March 29, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Not to mention Sonya I believe George is grateful that no others were harmed during this accident. Imagine the grief if that had happened. If he had run in front of my Celica he would have likely flew through the window and killed my brother and friend. Thankfully there was a fierce brand spanking new BMW where no one else was wounded. Enough with the what ifs but there are things to be grateful for and please believe George would want you to think that as well. As a retired Marine he lived to protect civilians. Only if the officers had known he was a fallen former officer.....
Ashley March 29, 2012 at 01:18 AM
For the fifth time, you have me mixed up with the pregnant woman. Her name was not Ashley; mine is. And I didn't call 911 so I don't know why you keep bringing up my name.
Jay March 29, 2012 at 01:58 AM
That's right Alex or should I call you Tea Party Alex. We need to privatize everything: Paramedics, county hospitals, police, fire and sanitation. That'll do it, i.e. get rid of those horrible unions and public employees once and for all. They are all evil and have made our city, county state and country much worse. So Let's cut taxes to the bone. Turn everything over to the private sector. What a paradise. No more unions, no more public employees and most of all no more government. After all they are to blame for everything that is wrong. Corporations will do whatever is good for the public. That's the kind of country we all want to live in right? Oh right. Look what the banks and corporations did since 2007. No matter it will be better next time when all public employees and unions are gone. That is your Tea Party heaven you desire Tea Party Alex. Isn't it.
JAGR March 29, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Lauren, I removed it because I had you mixed up with another person, and I apologize for that (although it wasn't defamation of character by a long shot, no offense)...this whole thing is a mess and we will never have the answers...no one will be happy with the results, mostly because for the family, a loved one is gone, for the witness', it's a nightmare that's not likely to go away any time soon and for everyone else, it's confusing...nothing will change those things I have just mentioned...the only thing we can hope for is that people find peace in the midst of chaos and that George finds rest...no one will ever know what was on his mind that night..it's only speculation at best, and if speculating that it was a big, horrific, accident, helps the family cope, then let them have that...it doesnt change anything...it's not like it affects his insurance or being able to get a Christian burial...for those who insist that it's suicide, no one knows...that too is speculation...and noone knows George here, cept his fiance...even the police and coroner are speculating because there was no note...they need some kind of answer to put the issue to rest, they use their best judgement..are they always 100% accurate?? no, they aren't, they are doing the best they can with the info they have, from a non emotional standpoint...but I can see how the unemotional reports, etc, can cut wounds in the family...
Lauren Ellen March 29, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Sorry Ashley. Really bad with names. I'll just refer to her as the pregnant one in the fast lane next to the car that saw the accident happen. And since you said you were the second one to the scene I thought you were the pregnant lady in the fast lane ....... Just confused and also as to how you determined he had barely a pulse and. wasn't moving?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something