Victim ID'd in three-vehicle crash involving Metro bus

A Sheriff's deputy helps traffic navigate around a three vehicle crash on 41st Ave. in Capitola Tuesday that left a 60-year-old woman dead. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

CAPITOLA — A 60-year-old woman was killed and several others were injured late Tuesday morning in a three-vehicle crash involving a Santa Cruz Metro bus at the intersection of 41st Avenue and Clares Street in Capitola.

The collision occurred around 10 a.m., when a Ford utility van reportedly plowed into the rear of a Smart car sedan driven by Cynthia Carey of Mount Hermon, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office said. Her car was then shoved into the heavily travelled intersection where she was struck by the Metro bus with eight passengers aboard.

The crash propelled the van onto the sidewalk at the front door of the MattressFirm business, while the Metro bus pulled off onto the right shoulder. The sedan was left mangled in the middle of the intersection.

Capitola Police, with help from the California Highway Patrol and Santa Cruz County Sheriff deputies, closed off several lanes, including northbound 41st Avenue.

Central firefighters used a tarp to cover the victim in the middle of the intersection.

The crowded intersection is a conduit into the Capitola mall and several busy shopping complexes.

Capitola Police Sgt. Cliff Sloma said the department will be handling the investigation, and that it was too early to determine a cause for the crash.

Clutches of curious onlookers stood at nearby corners and in front of businesses, watching the drama unfold on Tuesday.

The incident is still under investigation.

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