Rebekah LaPlante, of Lodi, has been identified as the 16-year-old killed Tuesday in a head-on collision on Highway 88. She did not attend a public Lodi high school, according to district officials.
The five other victims were injured and were transported by ambulances to local hospitals. No updates on their conditions are currently available.
LaPlante died when the 1997 Honda Accord she was driving west was struck by a 2000 Toyota pickup on Highway 88. LaPlante was with a 13-year-old female passenger.
The pickup contained four people: the driver, a 65-year-old woman, and three passengers — a 68-year-old man, a 10-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl — all from Gilroy, according to the California Highway Patrol.
LaPlante died at the scene, police said.
The accident took place on the highway near Brandt Road shortly around 5:30 p.m. and closed the highway for nearly two hours.
The cause of the wreck is still under investigation, but CHP Sgt. G.J. Pini said Tuesday that drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor. It is unclear whether either of the drivers braked, as neither vehicle had skid marks around it, Pini said. All six subjects involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts, police said.
A witness saw the Toyota move into the middle left turn lane and then into the path of the Honda for an unknown reason, according to a CHP press release.
Tuesday's accident brought back memories from 2005 when two best friends were killed in the same area of Highway 88 on Christmas Eve. Jaclyn Terry and Kelly Garecht, both seniors at Lodi High School, were walking either on or near the highway when they were hit by a passing motorist.