On Feb. 8 at approximately 3:35 a.m. the California Highway Patrol responded to a fatal accident on SR-74 (Ortega Highway) west of Lake Elsinore.
The driver was identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s Office as Tiffany N. Whittemore, 21, of Menifee.
According to the CHP accident report, Whittemore was driving a 2006 Scion XA eastbound on the highway.
Authorities speculated that wet pavement and vehicle speed contributed to Whittemore crossing into the opposing lane and then continuing off the road edge. The Scion tumbled down the mountainside, overturning numerous times.
After reaching the bottom of the mountainside, the car reentered the highway as the road switch-backed to the left. It came to rest on its wheels, blocking the eastbound lane.
The report added that it did not appear that Whittemore was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.