A woman who suddenly veered her car away from a collision on U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto on Monday afternoon died at the scene after she was ejected from her vehicle when it rolled over, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office has identified the woman as Maria Lozano, who died of multiple blunt force injuries.
The first call reporting the collision near Highway 101 just south of Embarcadero Road came in at 4:24 p.m., according to CHP Officer Damian Cistaro. Dispatchers indicated the collision was near the Public Storage's East Palo Alto location.
CHP Officer Pablo Rios initially told this news organization that there was an initial collision that resulted in minor injuries.
In a follow-up interview on Tuesday morning, Rios clarified that the initial collision between two people in a Toyota Prius and the driver of a Ford Mustang was minor and resulted in no injuries.
The Prius ended up blocking a lane on U.S. Highway 101 north of Embarcadero Road, Rios said.
Soon after, a 46-year-old Fresno woman behind the wheel of a tan Chevrolet Tahoe with her 14-year-old daughter as a passenger on northbound U.S. Highway 101 made an "evasive driving maneuver," to avoid crashing into the Prius, according to Rios. The move led the Chevrolet to roll over multiple times and land on the right-hand shoulder of the freeway.
The woman was ejected from the driver's seat and suffered major injuries, Rios said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
A passerby had performed CPR on a person on the ground, according to the CHP's log of the incident.
An investigation is ongoing, but officers believe that the woman did not have her seatbelt on at the time and was driving more than 65 mph, according to Rios.
The daughter was found inside the vehicle with minor injuries.
Drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be factors in the fatal crash, Rios said.
A SigAlert was issued at 4:40 p.m. blocking three lanes until about 6:45 p.m.
On Tuesday morning, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said the woman's name was not being released to the public pending notification of her next of kin.
Palo Alto firefighters were called for a rescue response, according to Pulsepoint, an app that displays emergency response incidents.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.