Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Santa Ana mother dead in crash on Highway 101


June 24, 2009 7:51 AM
A Santa Ana woman died and her 12-year-old daughter suffered injuries when their car crashed on Highway 101 near Tajiguas Creek on Tuesday.
The name of the victim in the 8:51 a.m. crash was withheld pending notification of family.
No one else was in the car.
According to Officer James Richards of the California Highway Patrol, the woman was driving north in the left lane just north of Refugio Road when her Toyota drifted onto the shoulder.
Tire tracks and skid marks indicate that the vehicle drifted off the asphalt and into the dirt shoulder.
The woman applied her brakes and steered to the right to get the car back into her paved lane, but the car rotated clockwise and skidded into the right lane.
According to the CHP, she overcorrected trying to get back in her lane and spun the car counterclockwise 180 degrees, sending the car flipping over the wide, vegetated center median numerous times.
A trail of debris remained across the median after the car came to rest on its wheels in the southbound lanes.
CHP Commercial Officer Ralph Villegas was nearby and responded first to the scene.
The woman, who was wearing her seatbelt improperly under her left arm, was partially ejected from the driver's window and pronounced dead at the scene.
"Had the woman been wearing her seatbelt properly, she would have remained in the vehicle and survived," according to Officer Richards.
The girl was properly buckled in, and was treated for a minor hand injury at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Southbound 101 was closed for 30 minutes after the crash for investigation, vehicle removal and cleanup.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies, Caltrans and Santa Barbara County Fire Department were involved in scene assistance.
At the time of the crash, the weather was overcast but clear and dry.

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