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Woman injured in rest stop crash

(A woman’s crushed SUV sits precariously on a steep wooded hillside at the south end of Vista Point north of Watsonville after clipping two vehicles while speeding through the rest stop Friday morning. Photo by Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — A Watsonville woman who reportedly blacked out at the wheel of her SUV tore through the Vista Point exit late Friday morning before side-swiping two vehicles and careening down an embankment.

In a call to the Register-Pajaronian on Tuesday, the driver, 63, said she had received an injection in her knee to treat arthritis in Capitola that morning. She was reportedly told that she would experience swelling in her knee but no other side effects.

The driver said she passed out as she approached the Vista Point exit on Highway 1, causing her SUV to hurtle over a concrete median, showering a host of car parts, including side-view mirrors, a bumper and paneling. The SUV side-swiped a Caltrans dump truck, shaving off its left side mirror, and then grazed a parked Pajaro Valley Unified School District bus before streaking over the embankment at the end of the exit, flattening a freeway entrance sign before ending up about 30-feet down a steep wooded embankment precariously perched against a stand of trees.

She was treated at the scene for her injuries.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including Aptos/La Selva Fire, the California Highway Patrol, AMR and Watsonville Fire Department.

The incident is still under investigation.


A freeway entrance sign was flattened when a woman drove over an embankment at Vista Point. Photo by Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian


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