A 23-year-old motorist killed when her sedan slammed into a utility pole alongside Interstate 215 in Murrieta was identified Tuesday.
Stephanie Bettini-Barbutti of Portland, Oregon, was fatally injured shortly before noon Saturday on southbound I-215, near Clinton Keith Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Mike Lassig said the victim was traveling about 50 mph when she steered toward the Clinton Keith exit lane. Before reaching the off-ramp, however, Bettini-Barbutti made a turn back into the No. 3 lane, according to Lassig.
He said that she then “steered abruptly to the right,” causing her 2004 Toyota Corolla to cross “sideways” and strike a freeway exit sign before plowing into a light pole.
“The impact caused major damage to the left side of the vehicle,” Lassig said.
No other vehicles were involved.
Riverside County Fire Department paramedics arrived minutes later and pronounced Bettini-Barbutti dead at the scene. Her right front seat passenger, identified only as a 22-year-old Camas, Washington, woman, was seriously injured and taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar for treatment.
The crash remains under investigation.