Elderly woman found dead inside crashed car near casino

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JAMUL, Calif. — An 80-year-old motorist was found dead Wednesday inside her crashed car at the bottom of an embankment alongside a dirt road near the Sycuan Casino.

A hiker came upon the crumpled gold Lexus ES300 roughly a half-mile from the southern terminus of Sycuan Road in the rural Dehesa area about 8 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver’s name was withheld pending family notification.

Her car apparently veered off an unpaved rural byway on the grounds of Sycuan Indian Reservation, careened down the adjacent hillside and struck a large oak tree.

“The Lexus was equipped with a lap- and shoulder-belt restraint system along with an airbag system,” CHP public-affairs Officer Travis Garrow said Wednesday afternoon. “At this time, it does not appear the (motorist) was wearing her seat belt at the time of the (accident).”

When the crash occurred was unclear, though a camera at a nearby guard shack captured images of the Lexus passing through the area about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Garrow.

Why the woman was driving over such remote and rugged terrain also was unknown, though intoxication was not believed to have been a factor in the fatality, the spokesman said.

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