A 16-year old California girl died Tuesday morning when she was ejected from the back of a pickup that rolled after losing control on Highway 97 about 13 miles south of Biggs Junction. Four others, including three members of her family, were injured in the crash as they were returning to Lindsay, California from a Thanksgiving holiday trip to Washington.
A 2007 Toyota four-door pickup driven by Faustino Garza, 58, of Lindsay, California, was traveling south on Highway 97 near milepost 13 about 8:15 a.m., November 27 when the accident occurred. For an unknown reason, it drove onto the icy shoulder where the driver lost control and the pickup fishtailed before traveling down an embankment. The pickup rolled and came to rest on its wheels about 40 feet from the highway, landing on top of its detached canopy.
|One person was killed and four were injured in a rollover crash south of Biggs Junction on Highway 97 - OSP photo |
The driver's granddaughter, 16-year-old Leeanna Garza, was in the pickup's bed at the time it rolled. Investigators have not determined if she was ejected before or after canopy came off the pickup. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The driver was using safety restraints and was not injured. He traveled to the Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles with four injured passengers who were in the pickup's passenger compartment. The injured persons included Maria L. Garza, 55; Lizandra Garza, 19; Faustino Garza II, 6; and Felicia Marie Garcia, 16.
According to troopers, neither the 19-year-old, the 16-year-old, or the six-year-old passengers were using safety restraints. They have not determined if Maria Garza was wearing a seat belt.
Faustino Garza II received serious injuries and has since been transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The other injured passengers received non-life threatening injuries, troopers said.
OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office are continuing the investigation. They were assisted on scene by Sherman County Sheriff’s deputies and county emergency medical personnel.