Report of reckless driver ends in fatal crash

Los Angeles County Fire Department officials and California Highway Patrol officers respond to a fatal traffic collision on Newhall Avenue, near Highway 14, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Rick McClure/For The Signal
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Medical examiners with the L.A. County Coroner’s Office identified the woman killed in a fatal traffic collision Tuesday night as 57-year-old Ann Catherine Diaz of Valencia. 

Just after 9 p.m., the California Highway Patrol Los Angeles Communication Center began receiving calls about a Toyota Rav4 driving erratically at a high rate of speed while traveling northbound on Highway 14, south of Newhall Avenue, according to the CHP report.

For unknown reasons, Diaz, who was the driver of the Toyota, sideswiped another vehicle, and exited at Newhall Avenue at about 90 mph, per the report. 

When exiting the freeway, Diaz failed to negotiate the curvature of the roadway, continuing straight without braking and traversing a dry drainage ditch before striking a dirt embankment, the report continued. 

California Highway Patrol officers respond to a fatal traffic collision on Newhall Avenue, near Highway 14, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Rick McClure/For The Signal

“This impact launched (the Toyota) approximately 150 feet before impacting a dirt field to the north of the off-ramp,” the report stated.  

CHP officers responded to the crash to find the vehicle with extensive rollover damage and Diaz, the sole occupant, still pinned in the driver’s seat. 

Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel also responded to the crash, extricating Diaz, who was reported to have been not properly wearing her seat belt, and was declared dead at the scene, the CHP report states. 

“Speed appears to be a factor in this collision,” the report added. “(Diaz’s) impairment is pending a toxicology report from the coroner.”

The collision remains under investigation. Any witnesses can contact the CHP Newhall Area office at 661-294-5540.

Los Angeles County Fire Department officials extricate the driver of a fatal traffic collision on Newhall Avenue, near Highway 14, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Rick McClure/For The Signal

Los Angeles County Fire Department officials and California Highway Patrol officers respond to a fatal traffic collision on Newhall Avenue, near Highway 14, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Rick McClure/For The Signal

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