Vanessa Fulladosa, 23-Year-Old UC Riverside Graduate, Killed During Mercedes-Benz Stall on 405 Freeway
Updated after the jump: Friends and family remember Fulladosa as a "beautiful person," and more witnesses of the crash come forward.
23-year-old Vanessa Fulladosa was killed on the 405 in the wee hours of February 18
Update: The crash actually occurred at 11:43 p.m. on Thursday night. More details about the other driver, and Fulladosa's last moments, after the jump.
A Palmdale woman killed in a traffic accident just before midnight this morning has been identified as 23-year-old Vanessa Fulladosa. She was driving south on the 405 freeway in Long Beach, according to the California Highway Patrol, when her Mercedez-Benz stalled in the fast lane just north of Bellflower Boulevard.
A car coming up behind Fulladosa apparently couldn't stop fast enough (though the accident's exact circumstances are still under investigation), because she was rear-ended harshly enough for her to die at the scene of the crash.
According to Fulladosa's Facebook page, she's a graduate of the University of California, Riverside and a resident of Palmdale, where she once attended Highland High School. The 23-year-old is currently listed as an account executive for Ivy League Apparel.
Her last Facebook activity was a status update posted from her iPhone just one to two hours before the fatal accident.
If you knew Vanessa or have any more information about her tragic death, please share below.
Update, February 18, 12:30 p.m.: A CHP officer says Fulladosa called 911 to report the location of her 1997 Mercedes just before she was hit.
However, within a matter of seconds, a 34-year-old Long Beach man in a 2010 Mitsubishi Galant came up behind her, traveling at about 65 mph. According to the officer, the man "failed to observe the 1997 Mercedes stopped in front of him and collided into its rear."
Fulladosa's boyfriend, Alex Hercules, tells the Weekly that he received a call from her at 11:51 p.m. He says all he heard was a "whispery sound from her voice," followed by a loud cry -- and then everything went silent.
"I said hello multiple times, with no response," he says in an e-mail. "I hung up, called back multiple times, [but] no answer."
He says he then tried calling Fulladosa's sister -- to no avail -- and lay awake for a long time, worried about his girlfriend. It was only when he woke up this morning that Hercules finally found out what had happened.
"She was trying to reach me for help, but by then it was too late," he says.
Update: The victim's father, Craig Fulladosa, comments below that "Vanessa loved life and really lived it to her fullest. Smart, kind and considerate she respected all things, people animals, the environment. I will honor her life by continuing her legacy of goodness and respect for all."
Another commenter, Touched, says Vanessa Fulladosa sent a text to her daughter just one hour before the crash: "I met your daughter and she was indeed a beautiful person, considerate and respectful. My daughter went to school with her (UCR), received a text an hour before the accident, and was looking forward to their plans for this evening."
A b, who claims to have been a witness, says, "I came upon her at approximately 11:45 in the Carson area by Alameda just before the curvy part going into Long Beach. She looked as if she was coasting to a stop but not doing more than 25mph."
And another witness, Milo, claims to have called the police: "I too had to swerve last minute to avoid hitting her. My car almost went out of control. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the crash occur and called 911 at 11:53 pm."
Memories of Fulladosa keep flooding in. Here are a couple:
Victoria says, "I had class with her at Highland High School in the IB Program and played soccer with her. I haven't talked to her for a long time, but can still hear her laugh. This is terrible news. She was such a happy person with so much energy..."
Jen says, "She was a great motivator and team player. She was always on top of her game and encouraged us to play at our best. She had the voice of a leader and had the presence of a captain. She was a sweet and funny young woman and wish I could have met her sooner."
A spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol says she doesn't know why the investigating officer didn't include the other driver's name in the accident report. That officer wasn't in the office for President's Day, but we'll check in with him again tomorrow.
Normally, though, when those involved in an accident aren't identified, it's because investigators have found they're not to blame for what happened and don't want to tarnish their name.
With reporting from City News Service. Originally posted February 18 at 9:30 a.m.