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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Woman killed in Christmas night crash on Highway 46

  • CHP says vehicle ran stop sign at 80 miles per hour
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  • A Watsonville woman was killed in a high-speed crash in the Lost Hills area Christmas Night.
    The California Highway Patrol said the victim, identified by the Kern County Coroner as Sheila Gates, 50, was ejected from the pickup she was riding in when it was struck by a car speeding through a stop sign.
    Gates was a passenger in a pickup pulling a fifth-wheel trailer driven by her husband, Phillip, 53.
    The Gates were westbound on Highway 46 at Holloway road (just west of Lost Hills) when a BMW 335i driven by Xiung Cui, 19, of Riverside, sped through a stop sign at about 80 miles per hour and stuck the gates' pickup. She was southbound on Holloway at the time.
    The impact caused the pickup to overturn and rotate and the victim, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected.
    Phillip Gates was wearing a seatbelt but still suffered major injuries as did Xiung.
    The pickup sideswiped another vehicle after the crash, sending a passenger, Cynthia Samano, 48, of Palmdale, to the hospital with minor injuries.
    The investigation into the crash is ongoing, the CHP said, but drug or alcohol use doesn't appear to be a factor.
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