Woman who died after car swerved to avoid dog on freeway identified

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Grace Tapit Villar

SAN DIEGO – Authorities Wednesday identified a 53-year-old woman who was killed over the weekend in a chain-reaction crash triggered by a loose dog in lanes of state Route 94 near downtown San Diego.

San Diego resident Grace Tapit Villar was in the back seat of a Toyota Camry, one of three vehicles involved in the crash that was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday on westbound SR-94 near 25th Street, according to California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A Ford F-150 owned by the San Diego Humane Society was parked in the median of the freeway with the driver and a passenger still inside, preparing to capture a dog when the animal ran into lanes of traffic, the CHP reported. The Camry, with Villar and two other occupants, braked and came to a stop in a  lane, according to the CHP.

A Dodge truck swerved into the median to avoid the Camry and was struck in the right rear corner by a GMC Yukon towing a trailer, the CHP reported. The force of the impact pushed the Dodge into the Camry, which in turn pushed the Camry into the Humane Society pickup.

Villar suffered a major head injury and was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where she pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m., according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Two people from the Camry and one person from the GMC were also hospitalized with unknown injuries, the CHP reported.

Funeral services for Villar were posted online.

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