Amesti Road Watsonville
A Watsonville man died early Friday morning when his VW shot off of Amesti Road, ripped through this fence and struck several trees. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—A Watsonville man died early Friday morning in a solo-vehicle crash on Amesti Road.

California Highway Patrol officer Sam Courtney said the 33-year-old victim was driving a blue 1998 Volkswagen Beetle eastbound on Amesti Road east of Cypress Lane, at an unknown speed at 12:28am. CHP investigators believe the man, who has not been identified, made an “unsafe turning movement” and lost control of his car.

The VW careened off the south shoulder of Amesti Road and collided with a wood fence, and several trees, heavily damaging the car.

It wasn’t until around 9:30am that a citizen first spotted the wrecked VW on his front yard, Courtney said. A woman who lived at the property said she and her husband called 911 and feared that the man was not alive. When the CHP arrived, they located the driver—the only occupant of the car. American Medical Response medics pronounced the driver dead at the scene.

The VW tore out about 45 feet of 6-feet fence before bashing into two redwood trees. The car then struck another tree and shattered the trunk, knocking the tree onto the lawn.

Alcohol and/or drugs have not been ruled out in the incident, Courtney said.

The crash is still under investigation.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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