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Traffic Accident Kills Woman Near Refugio

Victim Not Wearing Seatbelt, CHP Says

California Highway Patrol officials have identified the woman killed in a traffic accident on Highway 101 near Refugio State Beach Tuesday night as 25-year-old Carly Nichole Shelton of Canoga Park.

According to CHP Officer Don Clotworthy, Shelton was driving a 1999 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck southbound at around 9:30 p.m., with Kimberly Charleen Scott, 22, in the passenger seat, when, for an unknown reason, she lost control and the vehicle overturned, crashing into the center divider. Shelton was ejected from the pick-up into the northbound lanes of traffic and then run over and killed by a 2006 Nissan Altima driven by Wilward Edward Smith, a 45-year-old Santa Maria resident. Smith stopped at the scene, a “victim of unfortunate circumstances,” Clotworthy said.

According to investigators, Shelton was not wearing a seatbelt, but Scott was. Scott, who was not ejected from the vehicle, suffered multiple cuts and bruises, and was taken by ambulance to Cottage Hospital for overnight observation. The freeway was closed for four-and-a-half hours until about 2 a.m. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and the CHP is running a toxicology exam to see if drugs or alcohol were involved.

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