SANTA CRUZ (AP) For some families, it’s the warmth of a loving stranger, a friend, a caring pastor or a community they can count on for answers and a sense of closure.
For others, it was the death of a loved one that has taken them by surprise.
They’ve all had a different experience.
But there’s one thing everyone has in common: Their loved one died in Santa Cruz County, the largest in the state, in a fatal car crash.
The crash happened in the small community of Orange and left the remains of the driver, who was driving, unrecognizable.
In the days that followed, the remains were moved from Orange to Santa Cruz, where a funeral service was held in Santa Maria, where the remains are being held.
A coroner’s report found that the driver was not wearing seat belts or the brakes were not activated.
The coroner said it appeared the crash happened after the driver crossed into a double yellow line, then went around another double yellow area.
The coroner’s office determined that the crash was caused by the driver’s failure to stop at the intersection of Orange Street and Orange Street Road, which has a yellow median line and has a green light at the crosswalk.
The crash also occurred on the left shoulder of the street.
Orange police and the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash at around 1:30 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Department and Orange Police Department began searching for the driver of the car.
The Sheriff’s and Orange police have not released the name of the victim.
Orange County Coroner Scott McCausland said he believes the driver may have been driving drunk.
The cause of death is under investigation.
In a news conference Saturday afternoon, Orange Mayor Tom Tait said Orange police responded to an accident involving a vehicle on Orange Street near Orange Street about 4:45 p.ms. on Friday.
He said the crash occurred on a road that is double yellow.
A traffic officer, an Orange Police Officer and two deputies were on the scene, he said.
McCausland also said the driver did not have any insurance and that Orange Police are looking into the possibility of an insurance violation.
McCusland said Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were looking into a possible insurance violation, but the driver could not be located.
McCauley said he is grateful for the outpouring of support from Orange residents and law enforcement, who are searching for answers in the case.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family of the deceased driver.