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Julian Woman and Dogs Safe After Crash on Highway 78—on Her Birthday

Berta Creter spun out of control and through a fence. A tree stopped her from going into a ravine.

On her 65th birthday on Friday, a Julian woman spun out of control, crossed two lanes, plowed through a fence, uprooted a large rock and smashed into a tree. The tree saved her from ending up in a ravine, the CHP reported.

Berta Creter was driving westbound between Santa Ysabel and Ramona on Highway 78 Friday afternoon, when she lost control of her car, said Officer Rob Tracy of the Highway Patrol in Julian.

It's not clear whether she hit something in the road or whether she was traveling too fast. Creter reported hitting something, but Tracy found no evidence and said many people take the curve too quickly. Creter said she was traveling at 55 to 60 mph, he said.

Creter's 2004 Mazda 3 went through a barbed wire fence and hit the tree at about 1:24 p.m. The tree blocked initial attempts to get her out of the vehicle, so CHP asked Cal Fire to bring a chain saw, but it wasn't needed, Tracy told Patch.

Mercy Ambulance took Creter to Palomar Hospital after she complained of head and neck pain, but no injuries were observed, Tracy said.

Two dogs were traveling in the back seat. A small poodle was in a carrying cage and appeared to have been injured, Tracy said. The other dog did not appear to sustain any injuries.

Tracy took both dogs to Don's Market parking lot at the intersection of Highway 78 and 79 in Santa Ysabel to await their pickup by County Animal Services.

He said it's possible the driver may be kept overnight for observation, which is common, and she'll be able to pick up her dogs on Saturday at whichever shelter they go to. Officers were able to calm down Boomer, a small tan dog, and Cotton, a small white poodle in the cage, and give them water in the shade.

A Julian towing company, RBS, towed Creter's vehicle, leaving the large tracks in the grass, as shown in the attached photos. The rear axle was badly damaged, as seen in the photos.

Daniel Woolfolk March 10, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Glad to hear they're okay! I'm sure the dogs will be extremely happy to see her back home.
Dawna March 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Well, that wasn't a fun Birthday Berta. Glad you and the pups made it out of that alive. Looks like you might be getting a new car for your Birthday. Best wishes for a full recovery.

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