Woman Dies in Collision with Propane Tanker in Ramona Monday

A teenage driver loses control on a curve. Rain causes increase in accidents around the county.

A 19-year-old Ramona woman who lost control of her car was hit by a propane tanker and died at the scene Monday, on San Vicente Road, the Highway Patrol reported.

Spokesman Brian Pennings said she was driving eastbound at an "unsafe speed" and was unable to negotiate a curve to the left. She spun out of control, he said.

The accident happened at about 2:14 p.m. west of Wildcat Canyon Road.

The driver was in a silver Kia Spectra. She crossed over the double yellow line and into the path of a 2010 International Propane tanker, Pennings reported. The victim was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the propane tanker, Richard Leroy, told investigators that he was unable to stop in time when the woman's car spun "right in front of him." He said he was traveling 30 to 35 mph, and immediately applied his brakes and swerved to the right to try to avoid hitting her vehicle, but his truck hit the passenger side. He did not appear to have any major injuries, CHP reported.

San Vicente Road was closed in both directions between Warnock Drive and Wildcat Canyon Road for about three hours. Some traffic was diverted onto Wildcat Canyon Road during that time, while the County Hazardous Materials team cleaned up spilled gasoline and oil from the Kia. All lanes re-opened at 5:30 p.m.

No propane leakage occurred, CHP spokesman Larry Landeros reported. The tanker was carrying 100 gallons of propane. CHP reported the spilled fluids from the Kia were contained and water ways were not affected.

Wet weather contributed to an increase in accidents around San Diego County.

As of 10 p.m. Monday, there had been 174 accidents on the freeways and in unincorporated areas. During good weather, the average for an entire day is 50 to 75.

The Highway Patrol reported rock slides, mud and dirt across Sunrise Highway on Mt. Laguna on Monday. The National Weather Service warned drivers on Interstate 8 that high winds could make traveling difficult. Rain was expected to continue through Monday night, with a high wind warning in effect for San Diego County mountains until midnight. 

The Weather Service issued a high wind watch for the mountains for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon.

A high wind warning means sustained winds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph are either occurring or expected. A high wind watch means there is the potential for those same conditions to occur and people should monitor updated forecasts.

As of 5:42 p.m., Ramona had received 0.25 inch of rain, Julian 0.38, Santa Ysabel 0.39 and Mt. Laguna 0.56. Light snow began falling at about 6 p.m. on Mt. Laguna.

David Shumate January 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
there really are alot of accidents on that road and people need to learn to drive a safe speed on that road... every accident i have heard of on that road they were not going a safe speed
Colin January 26, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Well I hope John was not related to the poor girl and was lashing out in grief.
Colin January 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM
There are many many miles of roads all over Europe and the US that are very simlar to what my family refer to as 'Sleepy Hollow'. Yes the road just before and after, make you think you can go faster. Yes we need a flashing light and speed to warn inexpereinced and unfamilier young drivers of the recommended speed for the corner where this happened. Yes we need better driving tests for the young and we have the technology to stop people from driving without a seat belt. So let us understand the root cause of the sad accident. Rain, Speed and yes inexperience. Based on what I saw, the seat belt may have helped, but it would likely have made little differnece to the outcome, but I am not an expert. My heart and prayers go out to all that this has affected. May God Bless the family and friends at this very difficult time.
Colin January 26, 2012 at 03:24 AM
One more comment - The one thing I saw nothing about was the possibility of a mechanical failure, which would make this whole thing even more traggic.
G. Hoppah February 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I feel bad for the propane truck driver. What a terrible experience for him.


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