Elderly woman dies after veering car into river near Camp Pendleton

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SAN DIEGO — Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a 74-year-old woman killed when her car veered off Interstate 5 at high speed in the Oceanside area and plunged into the Santa Margarita River.

Jane Cook Lewis of San Diego lost control of her 2004 Chrysler Pacifica for unknown reasons while heading south near Camp Pendleton shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol and county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The vehicle crashed off the freeway, overturned and sank in the adjacent river, winding up six to eight feet underwater, CHP public affairs Officer Jim Bettencourt said. She died at the scene of the accident.

Investigators believed that Lewis might have suffered some type of medical emergency that led to the crash, Bettencourt said. A ruling on her cause of death was on hold pending autopsy results.

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