CHP identifies Avila Beach woman killed in storm

January 11, 2023

Karen Buccat, woman killed during storm on Monday


Officers identified the woman killed by storm waters on Monday as 60-year-old Karen Buccat of Avila Beach.

Shortly after noon, Buccat was driving on Avila Beach Drive when flood waters overtook her SUV. She attempted to roll down her electric window, but it was not working, a witness said.

Emergency personnel attempted to rescue Buccat, but were unable to reach her vehicle because of road conditions, according to the California Highway Patrol. Cal Fire then utilized a rescue boat to reach Buccat’s SUV, and discovered her body.

“Roadway closures were previously placed throughout the area,” according to the CHP.

Buccat’s daughter Tori Mercer has organized a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of a memorial service and other expenses.

“She was a mother, grandmother, sister, and your best friend,” her daughter posted. “She could fill a room with laughter even if it’s mostly hers. She loved telling and hearing everyone’s stories, and she listened like you were the only person that existed to her in that moment. She always made us feel like we had a place in this crazy world. She was our rock, our humor, our empathy, our everything”