Fatal crash caused by pills

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat /

A toxicology report shows a Murphys woman was under the influence of drugs when she was killed in a Sept. 29 auto collision that also killed a Galt man and severely injured his 10-year-old daughter.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jaime Castillo said the laboratory results on samples taken from Penny Miles, 52, of Murphys, were positive for multiple prescription drugs and as a result, the primary cause of the collision had been changed to reflect those test results.

Calaveras County Coroner Kevin Raggio identified the drugs discovered in Miles' system as Vicodin, Xanax, methadone and trazodone.

Vicodin and methadone are painkillers, while Xanax and trazodone are used to treat anxiety and depression.

Miles crossed double-yellow lines while traveling south on Highway 49 near San Andreas and collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by Eleazar "Ed" Rodriguez, 49, of Galt, widely known as "Ed the Flower Guy," a popular merchant at the Sonora Certified Farmers Market.

Rodriguez died as a result of his injuries. His daughter, Stacey Ochoa, sustained multiple broken bones, including a broken pelvis, but was able to be released in the days following the crash from the University of California, Davis, Medical Center.

Contact Sean Janssen at sjanssen@uniondemocrat.com or 890-7741.

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