News

Woman swerves to avoid collision, dies in rollover crash on U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto

Investigators believe driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt

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.

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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.

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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.

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Woman swerves to avoid collision, dies in rollover crash on U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto

Investigators believe driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 11:06 am
Updated: Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 1:27 pm

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.

Comments

resident
Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2020 at 11:15 am
resident, Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2020 at 11:15 am

Very sad that her daughter had to witness that.
"the woman did not have her seatbelt on at the time and was driving more than 65 mph"


Golden Catamount
Gemello
on Apr 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Golden Catamount, Gemello
on Apr 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

It is EXTREMELY important to pull over as far as possible in the emergency lanes if you are in an accident that is not severe! Every single time I see an accident that is nothing more than a fender bender, the people involved keep there cars blocking traffic and then proceed to get out of their cars! Big NO NO. Safely pull your car over to prevent killing other innocent people who may not have enough time to stop before hitting your car.

This is an incredibly sad and unfortunate situation that could have been avoided. Never ever block traffic lanes if you can safely move your car out of the way.


Seriously
Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm
Seriously, Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

@ Golden Catamount: We don't know if the car(s) involved in the first accident were movable. Don't judge before you know all of the facts.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm

True we don't have the whole story. But if the woman was not wearing a seatbelt but her daughter was in a belt, quite a difference: Wear your seatbelt.


Jes' Sayin'
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2020 at 11:04 pm
Jes' Sayin', Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2020 at 11:04 pm

Government really needs to stop subsidizing manufacture of Sport/Utility Vehicles. This kind of problem would not happen in a regular automobile.


mikepat
Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2020 at 9:23 am
mikepat, Monta Loma
on Apr 22, 2020 at 9:23 am

SUV's are more susceptible to this type of rollover than a sedan. A consumer publication ran several stories a while back, and they recommended keeping the tires at proper inflation, also replace worn out tires.


Kevin johnson
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Kevin johnson, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:08 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm

We don't have the whole story but can propose some lessons to be learned. Chevy Tahoe is not a sports car. It is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) prone to rolling over. One poster argues that government should not encourage the production of such vehicles. Fair point. Another lesson here is that not wearing a seatbelt may get you killed or crippled in an accident. The driver died. Her daughter lived with "minor injuries." Another lesson for drivers is to move fully out of the roadway after an accident, if possible. It seems the driver in this instance panicked in response to one or more vehicles stopped partly in the roadway ahead. If they were fully on the shoulder, the occupants should have gotten out of the vehicle and out of the way just in case one of the hundreds of oncoming drivers might panic just seeing vehicles on the shoulder. Speeding? Over 65. Well, the faster you drive, the greater the risk of harm. Slow down. Always? No. If you see an incoming nuclear missile from North Korea, speed up if you like. Couldn't hurt. Won't help.


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