Woman dies, son hurt in crash down Mendocino County embankment

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An English woman vacationing in Mendocino County was killed and her 12-year-old son injured when their car rolled down a steep incline and crashed into an embankment Monday, ejecting both from the vehicle.

Patricia Sanz Munoz, 45, from Reading, England, died in the accident on a rural road near Boonville, the CHP said.

Munoz was on vacation with her husband, who was driving the car, and her son, said Diego Martín, a friend of Munoz who has known her for 15 years.

Munoz moved to the United Kingdom about 20 years ago from Madrid, where she was raised, and worked at the British telecommunications conglomerate Vodafone until a few months before her death, Martín said.

The two met while working at the company.

“It’s unbelievable to us that she’s not with us,” Martín said in a phone interview Tuesday. “She was a friend. She was a lovely person.”

The incident happened at around 3 p.m. Monday when Munoz’s husband, Chris Parsons, 45, pulled onto the shoulder of a steep portion of eastbound State Route 128 near Boonville, the CHP said.

Parsons stopped to help someone clear dirt that had spilled onto the roadway while both Munoz and her son, who was in a rear passenger’s seat, stayed inside their 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe.

“For reasons still under investigation, the vehicle began to travel backwards down the incline and traveled over the shoulder and down a steep embankment,” the news release said.

Officers don’t believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident, which is still under investigation.

The boy was transported to the Oakland Children’s Hospital after the crash, the CHP said.

Martín said the family began their vacation in the United States earlier this month and had planned to be gone for several weeks.

Munoz enjoyed cooking, as well as visiting family in Spain, he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.

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