Woman is killed in Echo Summit wreck | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Woman is killed in Echo Summit wreck

A two-car collision on Echo Summit Saturday night claimed the life of a Southern California woman and snarled Highway 50 traffic for nearly two hours.

Kristine Rita Bartos, 52, of Aliso Viejo, died when the 2006 Saturn she was in lost control and hit an oncoming pickup near the junction of Highway 50 and Old Meyers Grade, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The 48-year-old driver of the Saturn, Walter Frederick Charles of Torrance, was transported with serious internal injuries via helicopter to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. By his request, his condition is unknown.

Reached Sunday, the pickup driver described the scene.

“They swerved right in front of us. Then, it looked like they overcorrected,” Steve LaPointe Sr., 55, said, adding his family feels “lucky to be alive.”

LaPointe, a 35-year South Shore resident, was driving a 1995 Chevy pickup heading eastbound at 35 to 40 mph, the California Highway Patrol reported. The driver of the Saturn was in the westbound lane.

LaPointe received stitches for cuts on his forehead. His son Steve, 20, and wife Mary, 49, also suffered from bruises throughout their bodies. The three were wearing their seat belts.

“They just came into our lane so fast. I didn’t have time to think about it,” he said.

The crash, which was reported at 4:55 p.m., brought traffic to a standstill Saturday night.

“We’re pretty sore. Mary’s having trouble breathing,” LaPointe said of his wife. “But we’re counting our blessings.”

Although the speed of the Saturn is undetermined, sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Rosa warned motorists to be aware of adverse driving conditions this winter.

“Even though it could be a sunny day, there could be ice patches,” he said.

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