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SEACLIFF : Station Wagon Split in Half in Accident

A station wagon hit a Ventura Freeway guard rail near Seacliff and was sheared in two early Monday morning, leaving a passenger with back injuries and cuts.

Esther Lee, 24, of British Columbia, remained in fair condition at Ventura County Medical Center after the accident that police said occurred when the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Lee and Jin Kang, 20, of Riverside were traveling south on the Ventura Freeway on a nonstop trip from Seattle, according to California Highway Patrol reports. Kang, driving about 65 m.p.h., nodded off at the wheel, and the 1989 Mercury Tracer began veering toward the guardrail, police said.

Kang tried to turn back onto the road, but the car hit the end of the guardrail just behind the right front door, police said. That effectively split the car into two pieces, which ended up 150 feet apart after the accident. The crash occurred shortly after 5 a.m., about half a mile south of Seacliff.

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Kang suffered minor injuries and was not admitted to the hospital. Lee suffered a fractured back, as well as lacerations to her face and back. Both were wearing seat belts, police said.


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