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71-year-old woman dies in head-on California crash

One woman is dead and a man is injured after a two-vehicle crash in California.

According to reports, a man in a 1998 Honda Civic was on Highway 20, going east. He wanted a cigarette and looked away from the road as he reached for them. In doing so, he allowed his car to drift into the wrong lane, while oncoming traffic was present.

The Civic smashed head-on into a 1994 GMC Sierra. In that truck were two 71-year-old adults, a man and a woman. Their truck flipped and rolled at least once, and the elderly woman was killed in the wreck.

The man in the truck was badly injured, though he did survive the crash. The emergency crews took him to Sutter Roseville. He was still at the medical center as of the most recent reports.

It really does appear that the cigarettes and distraction were the only reasons for the crash, as the California Highway Patrol says that the driver was not intoxicated and it does not appear that anyone was speeding.

One thing that is interesting is that this section of highway, which runs from east to west, has now produced four fatal accidents this year alone -- and it's only the summer. An officer with the California Highway Patrol described it as a scenic drive, calling it pleasant and not windy. He said the officials were "at a loss as to why" deadly wrecks keep occurring with such frequency in that area.

This story shows just how fast a fatal accident can take place, and it is important for family members to know what legal options they have.

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