UPDATE: Cottonwood woman ID’d after deadly Lake California crash

UPDATED: Thursday, April 1, 1:38 p.m., With additional details and release of victim’s name.

Originally Published: Wednesday, March 31, 11:38 p.m.

LAKE CALIFORNIA, Calif. — Authorities have identified a Cottonwood woman who was killed after a solo-vehicle traffic collision in Lake California Tuesday evening, March 30.

A passenger in the car when the fatal accident occurred received minor injuries and was hospitalized after the crash according to California Highway Patrol, who have said DUI is suspected as a contributing factor in the deadly accident.

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CHP has since reported that around 8 p.m. driver Jovana Sanchez, 27, and passenger Scott Joyce, 26, both of Cottonwood, were traveling northbound on River View Drive in a 2016 Mazda just before the fatal accident. 

According to a CHP release, as Sanchez was approaching Antelope Creek Drive she suddenly accelerated quickly, veered to the left, and lost control of the Mazda.

As the Mazda careened across the opposing lanes of traffic and left the roadway, she smashed into a tree. Sanchez, who was not wearing her seatbelt when the crash occurred, died at the scene from her traumatic injuries.

Joyce received minor injuries and was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Redding for further treatment.

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In the wake of Sanchez’s passing her social media pages have been flooded with condolences, stories and funny anecdotes about the victim, and well wishes for her grieving family, with many of her friends and family sharing pictures of their adventures with her over the years. 

CHP is continuing to investigate the cause of the fatal crash.



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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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