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Valley Police Beat: One killed, three hurt in rollover crash on Interstate 8

July 14, 2009|By SILVIO J. PANTA, Staff Writer

An unrestrained Spring Valley resident was killed Monday after she was ejected from a midsize sport utility vehicle that rolled off Interstate 8 when a rear left tire separated, a California Highway Patrol officer said in a press statement.

The passenger, who was not identified pending notification of relatives, was one of two people who failed to wear their seat belts while traveling in the back of 2005 GMC Envoy that was heading west on Interstate 8, said Highway Patrol Officer Heraclio Cardenas.

A 17-year-old Spring Valley girl who was riding beside driver Honibea Smith, but was wearing her seat belt, escaped with only minor injuries, Cardenas said. Smith, a 29-year-old Alpine resident, was also restrained and suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center.

A third passenger, identified as 44-year-old Demitria Espinoza, of Spring Valley, was ejected from the vehicle and was taken to ECRMC for moderate injuries, Cardenas said.

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The rollover occurred about five miles west of Dunaway Road about 2:50 p.m., Cardenas said. The tire separation caused Smith to drift onto the dirt median, Cardenas said.

Smith tried correcting her direction of travel but veered onto the dirt shoulder before rolling over. Skid marks at the scene showed the point where the vehicle scraped a small portion off the asphalt berm before it rolled down.

The crash remains under investigation, Cardenas said.

>> Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 337-3442 or at spanta@ivpressonline.com

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