Paso Robles teen dies in car crash

November 12, 2013

CHP@A 19-year-old Paso Robles girl was killed Monday when the SUV she was driving rolled several times and caught fire.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Jeanette Montes was driving the Ford Explorer northbound on Highway 101 near the Highway 46 West on-ramp when she lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons. The vehicle then rolled several times before catching fire.

The teen’s two younger brothers were with her in the car and suffered minor injuries. A witness to the accident helped the boys get out of the vehicle.

Following the crash, traffic was backed up for about three hours resulting in several minor collisions.


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This young teen was apparently much loved by her many friends and family. Condolences to all, and thanks to the good Samaritans who stopped and pulled the boys and driver from the burning car. They are our heroes and I hope that they are properly acknowledged and thanked by the community.

Despite all of your alleged inconveniences, a young life was lost. And that is a tragedy. The additional time you spent in traffic means NOTHING.

Prayers for the family.

…shortly after 4pm on Sunday the 11th… (just to clarify what should be in the article).

I was recently heading down the grade with my soon-to-be-driving teen and was explaining how it’s not good to just coast down and let speed build up; especially in a top-heavy vehicle (SUV, like I was driving), and that one’s “first time” with the experience of a large vehicle and the physics of momentum can be pretty frightening.

Some of our off ramps are sudden and curved, and if one is not paying attention or inexperienced can be quite hair-rasing. Or worse.

Most likely, speeding or driving too fast for conditions. An SUV is not a sports car with a low center of gravity.

The entire South end of town was at a standstill for 3 hours. This is the same area where Paso wants to add three hotels, a shopping center, and houses without any new road improvements. A meeting on this new development is scheduled for tonight at city hall at 7:30. Anyone who has to travel 101 or 46 West or who lives near the Target shopping center should attend.

Theater Drive should be reopened to connect to Vine Street, and an additional route for Vine Street to the shopping center should be added. Instead, they want to reroute Vine Street to the shopping center, and keep Theater Drive as a dead end.

If Theater and Vine could have been used to get traffic to town as an access road to the highway (the way it was before the city shut it down), then the traffic impact would not have been as devastating as it was. Cars were lined up trying to get out of the shopping center and on Theater Drive–all trying to get to Vine Street. I personally spent over an hour trying to exit the shopping center to get on the city’s loop de loop and to Vine Street.

This tragic accident occurred minutes from the Templeton Highway Patrol office on 101, about 2 minutes from the Cal Fire office on 101 (do they have units there), minutes from the Paso Fire Department and Police Department, so if emergency vehicles were delayed as some witnesses have contended, then we need an explanation. Were Cal Fire vehicles stuck at the “controlled burn site” in Pozo, were CHP vehicles patrolling in the county? How long did it take the Coroner to arrive? Did the highway have to be shut down according to law because there was a fatality?

Your obvious understanding of this long time problem with this intersection is limited.

They moved that intersection back to make it better. Having both those frontage road intersections right next to the freeway has been a problem as Paso has grown since the eighties. They moved the one side (Theater Dr.) back and eventually when funding is available will move Vine to realign. Also that off ramp southbound they redid a few years back as traffic regularly backed up onto the freeway and since only happens once in a while. They have made a difference. I drove through that area yesterday also at the height of it. Having that old intersection would not have changed a THING!!!!!

People where getting off northbound at Main in Templeton and flooding onto both the frontage roads. Then people where getting off at 46 West and trying to get to Vine. You also had the cops directing traffic and that can affect the traffic pattern.

If traffic keeps flowing there is NO PROBLEM but like any thing like this ANYWHERE when you have a situation like this that stops traffic but the cars keep coming, it is going to back up. I don’t care if it was original or the realigned.

Stop using a tragedy to make your dislike of a project (and lame argument at that) known.