NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — A 27-year-old woman from Newport Beach who was driving extremely fast in her Ford Taurus on the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County ran into oncoming traffic and triggered a 10-vehicle collision that left herself and two others dead, authorities said Sunday.

The famed roadway was reopened around midnight, about 10 hours after the collision investigators after an initial investigation believe was caused by the woman, Julia Allen of Newport Beach, going “at an excessive rate of speed” then crossing the center line, Newport Beach police Lt. Bill Hartford said Sunday.

Witnesses said her car went airborne after it crossed into the opposite lane and collided with a Toyota Prius, a white Ford Taurus and a Toyota Tacoma pickup.

In addition to Allen, the two people in the pickup, Christopher De La Cruz, 49, of Laguna Niguel; and Linda Burnett, 69, of Santa Ana, were killed, Orange County coroner’s officials said.

Three other people were taken to hospitals with injuries, including a motorcycle rider who was listed in critical condition. The names of the injured were not immediately released. All were expected to survive.

Two cars were overturned, some people were trapped inside their vehicles, and it took hours before some of the dead could be removed from the wreckage.

Allen had been a cross-country and track runner at Corona Del Mar and Fountain Valley high schools. She graduated from Corona Del Mar High and later from Stanford University, according to the Orange County Register.

The crash was on a section of the PCH known locally as the West Coast Highway. The roadway was packed with beach traffic on a sunny, summer-like day in Southern California.

The famous highway runs along the ocean through many of California’s most scenic stretches and most expensive neighborhoods.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. Captian Obvious says:

    I just love how this article refers to the 27 year old women who caused this disaster as a “victim.” A victim doesn’t barrel down a crowded city street at 100 M.P.H, and kill two innocent people in the process. It is called manslaughter, last I checked.

    How politically correct. Women can’t be killers, eh? I hope her parents are rejoicing at the good news.

  2. chris says:

    NO Captain, you have it all wrong…if you get stabbed and then robbed by a man with a knife…it’s your fault…..if you drink and drive you get a starring role in a movie like Lindsy Lowham…If you drink and drive and kill people in the process, you get 3 months to lift weights and 3 free meals a day…..If you cross the road in a cross walk and get hit by a car…its your fault for crossing….If a robber breaks into your home and you shoot him…you get to go to jail….as well pay the robbers medical expenses… I just wanted to correct you on a few things 🙂

  3. Drugs, Booze, Suicide says:

    Need to know the toxicology report before determining what really caused the accident. From reading other news outlets, seems like she having difficulties adjusting to school/future, doing part time gigs, living with wealthy parents, & probably having difficulties adjusting to life after her Fame in Sports.
    Tragic & Sad Ending, but that is the impression i get from scouring from a couple of other news outlets & sources.
    Curious if it was Drugs, Booze, or just Reckless Driving.. Nobody drives 100mph anywhere.

    1. krg says:

      Just curious which of these things you would say make what she did “okay”. It sounds very much like you’re about to give an excuse for this disgustingly irresponsible behavior. Doesn’t matter if she was stone cold sober or sloppy drunk. She was speeding, she became airborne, she killed 2 innocent people and injured others. Her fault. End of story.

      1. says:

        How do you know it wasn’t a medical condition or a mechanical failure that caused this? People are too quick to cast judgment without knowing all the facts. So sad for all the victims involved and if you knew Julie she was not a person who would cause this intentionally or due to carelessness.

  4. Mel Gibson says:

    The only thing I’m surprised about is that these accidents don’t happen more often.
    I have to drive a lot and the way people drive it’s a commendation to car makers that more people aren’t killed

  5. Steve says:

    I’ve seen kids racing their high powered Mustangs and Camaros all over the place! Why are they making cars that hit 100 MPH in 10 seconds???

  6. Den says:

    Stuck accelerator!

  7. fish wrap says:

    This was a case of dui or suicide. You hunt don’t drive at 100 mph on pch in that area.

  8. DeezNuts says:

    Pfft, women drivers…

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