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January 18, 2022

Man killed in Watsonville crash

WATSONVILLE—A 20-year-old Salinas man died in a head-on crash on the Riverside Drive Highway 1 overcrossing in Watsonville on Nov. 20. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ashley Keehn identified the victim as Cesar Romero.

Sam Courtney of the California Highway Patrol said Romero was driving a 1997 Chevy Cavalier west on Riverside Drive crossing over the highway when it veered out of its lane and smashed into a 2004 Ford Freestar minivan just after 2pm.

Firefighters from Watsonville and Cal Fire used the Jaws of Life to pry their way into both vehicles that sustained major damage. 

After firefighters managed to pull Romero from his caved-in vehicle he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The 27-year-old man who was driving the Ford minivan, and his and a 19-year-old male passenger—both out of Hollister—suffered moderate injuries, Courtney said.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash, which is still under investigation.

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