The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday released the names of the six people who died in a February 19 accident on the southbound lanes of Highway 101, just south of Los Alamos.
According to a report on the incident from the California Highway Patrol, 19-year-old Jeanne Ostrowski was driving a 1993 Toyota Landcruiser around 6:30 p.m. when she drifted into the center divider. Ostrowski apparently overcorrected and ended up skidding across both lanes and off the side of the road, whereupon her vehicle rolled several times and smashed into a tree. Two of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle. The four people remaining inside were engulfed in a fire that broke out inside the vehicle. Thanks to the assistance of a retired firefighter who witnessed the accident, Ostrowski was extracted from the vehicle. The other six people died at the scene.
Ostrowski was transported to Marian Medical Center, where she is being treated for serious injuries.
Of the six who died – Brandt Martin Cannici, 30, of San Francisco; Ruzanna Movsesovna Militonyan, 20, a Russian citizen; Nicia Chloe Oberle, 20, a French citizen; Angelique Barbara Rolin, 25, a French citizen; Constance Vadepied, 19, a French citizen; and Elif Yilmaz, 25, a Turkish citizen – all but one were foreign women studying in the San Francisco area. A release from sheriff’s spokesperson Drew Sugars noted that the burns were severe, making positive identification of the bodies extremely difficult. A statement from Sugars quoted Sgt. Gregg Weitzman as saying, “This was a tremendously difficult and challenging case : Our detectives worked through foreign embassies to contact the victims’ families, which provided medical and dental records that were then translated into English.”