Accidents leave one dead, another paralyzed

Early morning drivers involved in two separate accidents
Christopher Quirk – Staff Writer

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One person died and another was paralyzed in two separate single-vehicle accidents, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Ofelia C. Rodriguez, 46, of Hollister was driving northbound on U.S. 101, 5:48 a.m. Saturday. She had passed Highway 25 and was approaching the south side of Gilroy when, for unknown reasons, she made an unsafe turning movement to the right.

Rodriguez lost control of her vehicle, traveled off the east edge of the road and hit a tree. Though she was wearing a seatbelt, Rodriguez sustained major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Marco Machado, 30, of Gilroy, was riding a motorcycle on Burchell Road, northwest of the city when he fell asleep about 5:15 a.m. Saturday. He woke up again only as the bike fell to its side.

Machado was thrown off the bike, which continued skidding into a roadside sign. He was transported to Saint Louise Regional Hospital and then flown by helicopter to Valley Medical Center in San Jose. Staff there said Machado suffered severe spinal injuries that left him partially paralyzed.

Alcohol was not a factor in either of the accidents, both of which are under investigation.