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Woman donates organs after California car wreck


Last week at Palomar Medical Center a 22-year-old woman who suffered serious injuries in a car accident near San Diego was taken off life support after she failed to regain consciousness. The young woman — who was a registered organ donor — has helped four different people save their lives.

It is a silver lining in an otherwise tragic story. The woman was riding in her boyfriend’s Kia Rio on Calavo Drive, also known as “roller-coaster road” because of its sharp curves and hills, when he lost control and plowed through a fence into a neighboring swimming pool. The woman was trapped in the car as it sank to the bottom. A neighborhood man came to the rescue, cutting her seatbelt and dragging her to the surface, but it was already too late. The driver of the car escaped the vehicle as it sunk to the bottom, sustaining only minor injuries.

The woman had been a popular waitress at Chili’s restaurant for five years. In a show of community support, every Chili’s in San Diego held a fundraiser to support the family of the victim, which will have medical expenses and funeral expenses to deal with in addition to the anguish of losing a loved one.

Police have not yet charged the driver of the vehicle, but an investigation has shown that officers believe the driver was speeding at the time he lost control of the vehicle. Criminal charges may still be forthcoming, and he may also be held liable for civil damages caused by his suspected negligent operation of the vehicle.

Source: San Diego 6 News “Ashley Garcia Remembered,” June 24, 2012