Coroner probing traffic death

The Orange County Coroner has completed an autopsy on the body of Tricia Dietz, who was killed when she was struck by a pickup truck on Coast Highway in South Laguna on Feb. 17, said Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Bob Rahaeuser of the traffic division.

Police are convinced that the driver was not at fault in the tragedy.

“Whenever anyone dies and they are not under the continuous care of a physician, the coroner does an autopsy,” Rahaeuser said.


“We have not submitted the incident to the District Attorney because we do not believe a crime was committed,” he said.

Questions have been raised as to whether Dietz may have deliberately walked into the path of the vehicle, as claimed by the driver of the vehicle, but police have discounted this theory.

Toxicology tests are being conducted, but results will not be available for six to eight weeks, Rahaeuser said.

Dietz, 38, was struck on Coast Highway near Eighth Avenue at 7:49 a.m. on Feb. 17 and died that day after several hours of surgery.


Equipment stolen at Act V work site

Several thousand dollars’ worth of tools were stolen from the Act V construction site at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road by thieves who moved a bulldozer and two backhoes to reach a storage shed, Det. Sgt. Darin Lenyi said.

The theft was discovered at 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

The loss included large power tools and miscellaneous items owned by a contractor working on the site, which is under construction as a replacement facility for the city yard near Forest Avenue.