In the hours and days before she was killed in an early morning car crash, Joy Weiss was on the phone to friends and family with exciting news: She had just become engaged.
The marriage proposal was among the reasons Weiss, her fiance and several friends were out late Tuesday night in what was also a birthday celebration, friends said.
Loved ones now are planning a different kind of ceremony for the 31-year-old Petaluma woman.
Weiss was driving on Highway 101 with three others in her Toyota pickup when it veered off the road and over an embankment, landing in a ditch near the Sonoma-Marin county line shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday, the CHP said.
One of the passengers was able to call 911 and directed authorities to the area where the wreckage was found.
Authorities still are investigating the crash, but Weiss' friends and family said she was proudly, outspokenly sober after four years in recovery and do not believe she would have been drinking prior to the accident.
"She had just really got her life together and was really happy," said Breanna Capener, a friend from the Seattle area.
Weiss worked at Safeway in Corte Madera, a grocery representative said.
She was raised in the Bellevue, Wash., area but lived in several different states before settling about nine years ago in Petaluma, where her mother was living at the time, close friend Carolina Lanza, also of Seattle, said.
But she'd recently come north to Seattle to spend time with friends, her father, Rick Weiss, and stepmother, Toni Weiss, in February. They feel blessed, Capener said, to have seen her so recently when they only visited a couple of times a year.