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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 9:43 pm | Fair 46º


Driver Dies of Injuries Suffered in Los Alamos Crash

A 48-year-old Los Alamos woman died Thursday, hours after her Toyota 4Runner exited Highway 101 and struck a tow truck, causing her to be partially ejected as her vehicle landed on its side, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The woman, Lisa Ann Rasmussen, was at the wheel of a 1992 4Runner when drove onto the Main Street offramp in Los Alamos at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the CHP said.

At the time, a driver from Santa Maria Towing was helping a disabled motorist who had stopped on the offramp, but was out of the roadway.

The 36-year-old two truck driver, Norberto Olivera of Santa Maria, was standing to the left rear of his tow truck and near the left front of the vehicle he was prepping to load onto the flatbed truck.

As the 4Runner left the freeway, Rasmussen allowed it to drift to the right and cross the solid white line, where the right front of her Toyota struck the tow truck driver. 

Rasmussen’s vehicle “then traveled up the inclined flatbed of the tow truck and went airborne, landing on its side and sliding down the roadway,” Officer Mike Trenery said.

Olivera was taken by CalStar helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of major injuries, Trenery added. 

Rasmussen was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center with major injuries.

Previous reports indicated that Rasmussen was taken to Cottage Hospital and Olivera was taken to Marian. 

CHP Officer Matt Kenny said Rasmussen died Thursday morning.

Investigators say it was not known yet if drugs or alcohol was a factor in the crash. However, CHP officers said Rasmussen was wearing a seat belt.

The Main Street offramp for northbound traffic into Los Alamos remained closed for two hours while emergency crews and investigators dealt with the incident.

Officers at the scene of the crash noted drivers frequently exit the highway at freeway speeds instead of slowing down to the posted speed limit. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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