CORONER: Woman killed on I-5 last week took her own life

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A Bakersfield woman struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 5 while she apparently tried to cross the freeway last week, actually meant to take her own life, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner/Coroner said Monday.

The woman, identified as 44-year-old Destrea Reese died of multiple traumatic injuries, coroner spokeswoman, Kelly Yagerlener, told The Signal Monday, noting her death is being called a suicide.

Shortly before midnight Nov. 7, Reese was driving a 2000 Mercedes Benz ML430, southbound on I-5 in the #3 lane, north of Valencia Boulevard approaching a construction zone with a reduced roadway ahead, California Highway Patrol investigator J. Bielman wrote in his report.

It appears from preliminary investigations, she steered her car to the left, through the construction cone pattern, and her car collided with a traffic management arrow board in the #2 lane, which is the lane next to the car pool lane.

After the collision, the woman – later identified as Reese – got out of her car and crossed over the dirt median center divider, Bielman wrote in his report.

She began crossing the northbound lanes of I-5, and was subsequently struck by a passing vehicle traveling northbound on I-5.

CHP and LA County fire arrived on scene and began life saving measures, but were unsuccessful.

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