High-speed crash kills Nevada City woman | TheUnion.com

High-speed crash kills Nevada City woman

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating a high-speed, solo-vehicle crash that killed a Nevada City woman.

Melanie Cowley, 47, was driving a 2002 Ford Expedition east on Banner Lava Cap Road west of Forest View Drive at an unsafe speed at about 9 p.m. Tuesday when she failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the roadway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle ran off the roadway to the right and struck a large pine tree head-on, then hit a second tree on the rear passenger side.

Cowley was pronounced dead at the scene, and blunt force trauma likely was the cause of death, said Nevada County Coroner Paul Schmidt.

“The vehicle was totaled,” he said.

It is not known whether drugs and or alcohol were a factor.

The roadway was shut down for about one hour before being reopened.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

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