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Kern County, California – January 5, 2013

Police say a motorist crashed Friday west of Bakersfield, killing herself and injuring her passenger.

According to troopers with the California Highway Patrol, 23-year-old Taft resident Jamie Renee Tweedy was behind the wheel of a 1994 Jeep Cherokee sport-utility vehicle as it traveled along Elk Hills Road. Around 11:40 p.m., Ms. Tweedy apparently lost control.

Investigators say the Cherokee left the roadway and flipped, ejecting Ms. Tweedy and her passenger, 24-year-old Buttonwillow resident Tevis Stephens. Paramedics responded to the scene, but were unable to save Ms. Tweedy.

Mr. Tevis, meanwhile, was transported by helicopter to Kern Medical Center for treatment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of fatalities along America’s roadways declined in 2010 for the fifth-straight year. The total number of highway deaths last year was 32,788, down 3 percent over 2009.

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