A 61-year-old Half Moon Bay woman was killed in a car crash on New Year’s Day when her car collided with another vehicle on Highway 1 in unincorporated Santa Cruz County and skidded off the road into a 50-foot ditch.
At 2:20 p.m., Abigayle Oneill Fenn, who worked as a dental hygienist in Half Moon Bay, was traveling south on Highway 1 toward Santa Cruz when she let her Toyota Solara drift into the shoulder of the narrow highway, according to the California Highway Patrol. She then overcorrected the vehicle and collided head-on with a Chevy Malibu, injuring two British tourists, CHP Officer Grant Boles said.
Fenn’s car spun into a 50-foot embankment, resting in the ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a seat belt.
It was unknown whether Fenn was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Santa Cruz County Coroner’s Office said it will conduct an examination this week.
The British tourists sustained major injuries and were transported by helicopter to Stanford Medical Center. The 63-year-old woman, who was at the wheel, and her 68-year-old husband were still in the hospital Tuesday, but were in good condition, hospital authorities said.
Boles said the weather conditions — sunny and clear — did not seem to have any effect on the accident, which occurred in the unincorporated Santa Cruz County near Laguna Road. Although a police investigation is ongoing, Fenn appeared to be at fault in the fatal crash, and the British couple will not be charged, Boles said.
“There is no room for error on that road,” said Boles. “It’s a two-lane highway with 50-55 miles per hour speed limit, so any mistake could be deadly.”
For the past three years, Fenn worked as a dental hygienist in Half Moon Bay in the office of Dr. Ray Sheppard.
Sheppard, who learned about the accident from Fenn’s ex-husband, said she was an excellent employee who will be sincerely missed.
“She was a very caring person and she very much enjoyed her children and grandchildren,” he said.