The 76-year-old woman who died after her car careened off a canyon cliff at Earlmont Avenue Wednesday has been identified as Patricia Ann Abbey, coroner’s officials said Monday.
Abbey died of blunt force trauma after apparently losing control of her vehicle while returning to her Alta Canyada Road home from a bridge game Wednesday, according to a sheriff’s report and information provided a neighbor by the victim’s husband.
That neighbor, Bernie Mizrahi, said he and son Ron Mizrahi were sitting in the living room of the family home when they were alerted by the sound of screeching tires. That’s when Abbey’s car, a Mercedes, barreled through their front yard and over a low brick wall on the east end of the property.
The Mercedes flipped over during its descent down the 80-foot canyon before landing, right-side up, in the wedge of the canyon bottom.
“The noise was so intense, even people up the street said they heard it,” Bernie Mizrahi recalled of the crash.
When Ron Mizrahi and another unidentified male witness made it down to the bottom of the canyon to check on Abbey, she was already dead, the former said Thursday.
“We went down there and checked her pulse,” Ron Mizrahi said, indicating there was none. “She had some pretty devastating injuries to the back of her head.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death to be accidental and the result of blunt force trauma, though Abbey also showed signs of coronary arteriosclerosis, according to spokesman Ed Winter.
“She had some medical issues,” Winter added, indicating that it is unknown whether those conditions may have contributed to the incident.
Eyewitnesses, children walking home from Palm Crest Elementary school when they saw the incident, spotted Abbey’s driving erratically down Jarvis Avenue, according to neighbor Deborah Pitts.
Abbey’s husband, who came to the Mizrahi family home shortly after the incident, told Bernie Mizrahi his wife suffered from diabetes and may have lost consciousness due to low blood sugar.
“He was very sad, but he seemed to be holding on,” Bernie Mizrahi said Thursday of the husband’s demeanor.