An Atascadero woman died after her car tumbled down an embankment on Interstate 580 near Corral Hollow Road on Friday morning.
The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office has not released the woman’s name, pending notification of her family, but the California Highway Patrol said that she was 57 years old and from Atascadero.
She was the only person in the car. The rescue crew had also found a small dog in a pet carrier. The dog survived the crash and was picked up by county animal control officers.
CHP officer Robert Rickman said initial investigation shows that she was moving fast in the left lane of westbound I-580 when she suddenly swerved to the right to avoid crashing into slower traffic in front of her. She did not crash into any other cars but apparently lost control and skidded off the right side of the road.
The car went over the embankment, flipped repeatedly and landed on its roof, Rickman said. A crewman from the Tracy Fire Department had to cut open the side of the car to get the woman out. She suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. The crewman noted that she had been wearing a seat belt.