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Halloween night EDH car crash fatal to Sacramento woman

Officer: Seatbelt would have made crash 'survivable'
By: Roger Phelps/The Telegraph
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A Sacramento woman died in an El Dorado Hills car crash in the early hours following Halloween night. Jessica Rodriguez, 18, was thrown from a car in which she was an unbelted passenger around 1:15 a.m. Nov. 1, authorities said. She was found dead on scene in the intersection of Serrano and Silva Valley parkways. Two El Dorado Hills residents were injured as they drove cars that collided upon starting across the intersection. The fatal crash involved a 1999 Buick LeSabre carrying Rodriguez -- driven by Noel Cole, 19, of El Dorado Hills and a 2005 Mercedes-Benz driven by a 17-year-old El Dorado Hills boy. The Buick was westbound on Serrano Parkway and the Mercedes-Benz was northbound on Silva Valley Parkway. "They both claimed to have green lights," said Officer Sean Ricci of the California Highway Patrol. Speed limits on both roads are 45 mph. "It was a horrific traffic accident," said Sgt. Bryan Golmitz of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. Ricci said he believed neither motorist was speeding. "There was nothing unusual we saw about speed," Ricci said, adding that a seatbelt would have made the crash "completely survivable." The Mercedes-Benz struck a light-control box at the intersection and then ran off the road. "The CHP will have to figure who had a green light," Golmitz said. Both Cole and the boy driving the Mercedes-Benz were taken to UC Davis Medical Center complaining of bruises, cuts and pain in the limbs, according to the highway patrol. "I don't believe the injuries were critical," Golmitz said. Ricci said that of the unbelted passengers and drivers he has witnessed in recent years, a disproportionate number are young people. The Telegraph’s Roger Phelps can be reached at rogerp@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment at edhtelegraph.com.