Woman, 70, dies in car crash after trying to flee massive Southern California wildfire

CORRECTS SPELLING OF CITY TO BONSALL INSTEAD OF BONSAI - Flames consume a structure as the Lilac fire burns in Bonsall, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The blaze burned numerous structures and thousands of acres according to fire officials. Wind-swept blazes have forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed dozens of homes in Southern California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
CORRECTS SPELLING OF CITY TO BONSALL INSTEAD OF BONSAI - Flames consume a structure as the Lilac fire burns in Bonsall, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The blaze burned numerous structures and thousands of acres according to fire officials. Wind-swept blazes have forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed dozens of homes in Southern California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

 

FALLBROOK, California (AP) – Authorities have confirmed the death of a 70-year-old woman who was fleeing a massive Southern California wildfire.

The Ventura County medical examiner says Virginia Pesola of Santa Paula was killed in a car crash along an evacuation route Wednesday night.

The cause of death announced Friday was blunt force trauma with terminal smoke inhalation and burns.

Pesola’s death is the first connected to six wildfires ravaging the region. She was found in a car in Wheeler Canyon in Santa Paula. The area northwest of Los Angeles was threatened by a wind-whipped blaze that erupted Monday and has destroyed hundreds of homes.

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