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Newcastle woman dies after Interstate-80 wrong-way drive, rollover

CHP records: Sandra Hauser died the day after her 25th birthday
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A Newcastle woman is dead after a single-vehicle crash this morning on Interstate 80 in Auburn. The accident occurred at about 2:27 a.m. on eastbound I-80. The victim and lone occupant of the crash vehicle was identified by the California Highway Patrol as Sandra A. Hauser, 25, of Newcastle. Her birthday was the day before the crash, Highway Patrol records show. The Highway Patrol reported that Hauser, driving an Acura Integra, was seen by a witness traveling the wrong way on eastbound I-80. Hauser initiated a u-turn on the freeway and began traveling east on I-80 in the slow lane. Officer Dave Martinez said that for reasons still under investigation, Hauser then lost control of her vehicle and traveled off the roadway into a rock embankment near the Maple Street exit. The impact with the embankment caused the Acura to roll over onto its roof, where it came to rest in the slow lane of eastbound I-80. A semi-truck driver reported the accident to 911. Hauser was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel, Martinez said. She was the only occupant. The crash was being investigated by Auburn-area Highway Patrol officers, including a mechanical inspection of the vehicle, which is standard procedure. Martinez said it is not yet known if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. That will be determined through a toxicology exam with the Placer County Coroner. The slow traffic lane on eastbound I-80 was closed for about an hour and 45 minutes for the collision investigation and removal of the Acura from the roadway.