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Head-On Collision Near Garlock Kills One, Injures Two

Update: The 53-year-old woman who died in this crash was reported as being from Topeka but was later revealed to be 50-year-old Mary Leechelle Love of Ridgecrest.


Bakersfield, CA – On Monday, January 8, 2024, near Garlock in eastern Kern County, a head-on collision resulted in one fatality and left two others with major injuries, according to KGET and The Bakersfield Californian.

Responding to reports of the collision on Redrock Randsburg Road, west of Garlock Road, California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the scene around 8:36 AM. The collision involved a white Mercedes, driven by Carolin Smith, 53, of California City, which had been traveling westbound on Redrock Randsburg Road, and a white Hyundai heading eastbound, driven by a 53-year-old woman from Topeka, Kansas, with a 49-year-old California City man as her passenger.

The Hyundai driver succumbed to her injuries and was declared dead on the scene. Both her passenger and the driver of the Smith suffered major injuries, requiring transportation to a local hospital.

The severity of the incident forced the closure of Redrock Randsburg Road at Highway 14 and at Garlock Road and Highway 395. CHP has ruled out driver impairment as a contributing factor, and the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

In the aftermath of a tragic collision, the family of the deceased may explore legal options, including the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim. Such claims can provide a means for families to seek justice and compensation for the loss of their loved one, particularly when the circumstances surrounding the accident warrant a closer examination of liability. Consulting with legal professionals knowledgeable in personal injury law can help guide grieving families to ensure their rights are protected.

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