The Coast News Group
Vista freeway collision

Woman jailed in Vista freeway collision that killed her two children

VISTA — A woman was behind bars today on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with a Vista freeway collision that killed her two children over the weekend.

The events that led to the double fatality on the eastbound side of state Route 78 began shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday, when Sandra Ortiz, 33, pulled over onto the shoulder for unknown reasons near Mar Vista Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.

After the vehicle came to a stop, Ortiz’s children, ages 10 and 16, got out and were hit by an oncoming car, the CHP reported. The victims, whose names were not immediately available, died at the scene.

“(The children) were retrieving something from the vehicle,” CHP Officer Ryan Harrison told The Coast News.

The woman driving the car that fatally struck the children remained at the scene immediately after the incident and fully cooperated with officers, Harrison said, who also noted law enforcement did not suspect her of driving under the influence.

It remained unclear Monday why Ortiz stopped on the side of the freeway, though it may have been because a piece of luggage she had tied to the roof of her vehicle had come loose, according to news accounts.

Ortiz was being held at Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee on $500,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Samantha Nelson contributed reporting to this article. 

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