Moorpark College student passes away after accident


Courtesy photo

Taylor Moss

By Tawni Staples

19-year-old Moorpark College student Taylor Moss whose was struck headon by a wrong-way suspected drunk driver Halloween night off the highway 101 in Encino.

She was kept on life support as of 7:15 a.m. on Sunday Nov. 1, and was taken off Nov. 3 according to Lt. Brian Elias with the investigative division of the Los Angeles County Coroners Office.

Taylor Moss and two passengers were struck as they were heading westbound toward Ventura County, according to CHP Public Information Officer Leland Tang. All passengers in Moss’ vehicle were wearing seatbelts.

The names of the two passengers were not released but they sustained minor injuries according to California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Leland Tang for LA County West Valley.

Moss was traveling in the fast lane when her 1997 Toyota Corrola when the vehicle was struck by a 2008 Toyota Camry driven by Hector Ortiz, 27, of Simi Valley, Tang said. After he failed a field sobriety test and officers detected alcohol on his breath, Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, said Tang.   The name of the passenger in Ortiz’s car has yet to be released, but Tang said the passenger suffered moderate injuries.

Tang said it was unknown whether the cars airbags were deployed but he said it would be difficult to survive a head on accident at freeway speeds that would result a combined impact of 130 to 140 miles per hour.

“The lesson for the students is to never drive in the fast lane,” Tang said. “Eighty percent of the time wrong-way drivers choose to drive in the fast lane. They think the fast lane is the slow lane.”