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Los Angeles Woman Killed in Willits Head-On Collision


Laura Lynn Newsome, 27, of Los Angeles was killed in an auto accident in Willits the night of February 21, 2009, the Willits News reports in this article. The fatal accident in Mendocino County occurred when Newsome was driving a 2002 Toyota 4Runner north on Highway 101. California Highway Patrol officials say the Toyota 4Runner crossed over the double yellow line to the southbound lane and directly into the path of the 2001 Dodge pickup truck driven by Johnathan Kirk Graux, 65. It was apparently raining at the time of this fatal Willits auto accident crash.

Newsome’s Toyota then careened down an embankment. All concerned were wearing seatbelts, CHP officials said. Graux unsuccessfully tried to steer to the right to avoid a head-on collision. Graux as well as his passenger, 44-year-old Melinda Carol Graux, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

It’s a miracle that Johnathan and Melinda Graux did not suffer serious injuries in this crash. Of course, being a direct collision between two vehicles this incident could have been a lot worse. My heart goes out to the family of Laura Lynn Newsome, who was tragically killed in this horrific crash. I offer my deepest condolences to Newsome’s family and friends. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (, there were 16 auto accident injuries and no fatalities in Willits in 2006. In Mendocino County as a whole, there were 18 deaths and 433 injuries involving auto accidents during the same period.

In this particular auto accident, the main question is how and why Laura Newsome lost control of her Toyota 4Runner. Was it weather-related? Did Newsome fall asleep at the wheel? Was there a dangerous or defective roadway condition? Was there a mechanical malfunction or a product defect that caused the accident? The Newsome family would be well-advised to contact an experienced California personal injury law firm that will explore all these issues and help determine who or what caused this auto accident. The best personal injury lawyers will always offer a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.

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