SHANDON – Just after 6 a.m. Tuesday on Bitterwater Road north of SR-58, a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe was involved in a single-vehicle accident. Five passengers from Avenal were involved in the accident and one died at the scene.
Veronica Ayala-Rea, 35, was driving the 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe southbound on Bitterwater Road, 12 miles north of SR-58. Ayala-Rea failed to handle a curve in the road and crossed into the other lane and onto the dirt shoulder before rolling over multiple times. Two passengers not wearing their seatbelts — Alexis Jovani Ayala, 19, and Maria Rodriguez Tovar, 49, who were ejected from the vehicle. Alexis Jovani Ayla was transported to Kern Valley Medical Center and Rodriguez Tovar to Sierra Vista Medical Center.
The Tahoe came to rest on its top in a pasture. One passenger, 50, required extrication and died at the scene. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The driver, Ayala-Rea, was transported to Twin Cities Community Hospital along with the other restrained passenger, Juan Ayala, 32. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this collision.