A Freedom teen girl died in this VW Beetle Friday when she crashed into a pickup on San Andreas Road. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula).
WATSONVILLE — A 16-year-old Freedom girl died in a two-vehicle crash Friday on San Andreas Road.
California Highway Patrol officer Chris Micheels said the teen was driving a 2000 VW Beetle southbound on San Andreas near Sunset Beach Road at 1 p.m. At one point she lost control of the white two-door sedan and spun sideways. The car slammed broadside on the passenger’s side into the nose of a northbound Chevy pickup, driven by a 65-year-old Watsonville man.
The impact was so great that it shoved the passenger’s door handle clear over to the center of the steering wheel, about three-feet of intrusion.
The teen, who has been a student at Renaissance High School since January, was pronounced dead at the scene. The school is about a mile south of the crash site.
The name of the victim has not been released.
Artemisa Cortez, Renaissance High principal, said the news came as a horrible blow to the campus.
"It's one of those things, it's just shocking to all of us," Cortez said. "Our hearts go out to the family. She was a junior and was doing great here."
Cortez said the teen had just left the campus and was most likely heading off to her job, part of her normal routine.
"She came to us from Watsonville Community School," Cortez said. "She was an excellent student, a hard worker, and was getting good grades. Her attendance was good, and she was a pleasant person with a great smile."
The truck driver was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Micheels said unsafe speed and wet road conditions may have played a role in the crash. He added that another vehicle may have been near the crash when it occurred.
“We may be looking for a black, unknown make pickup,” Micheels said. “The occupants might have information about the collision that would be valuable to us.”
The incident is still under investigation.
Cortez said she is arranging for counseling for students and staff at her campus starting Monday. She said that she planned to meet with the victim's family later Friday.
Cal Fire was joined by Aptos/La Selva Fire, Watsonville Fire and American Medical Response at the scene.
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