A 32-year-old Gilroy woman died in a solo-vehicle crash early Monday in Prunedale.

California Highway Patrol officer Jessica Medueño said the woman was driving a 2007 Mazda 3 sedan westbound on Highway 156 at Cathedral Oak Road near Castroville around 6:30am. 

For unknown reasons she lost control and careened off the roadway onto the north shoulder. Her car then collided with a tree and came to rest on its wheels on a dirt and grassy embankment.  

North Monterey County Fire used hydraulic equipment to extricate the victim from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Medueño said.   

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs are a factor in the collision.

The incident 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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