2017-05-19 / Front Page

Woman killed in Tierra Rejada crash

Authorities unsure why driver, 78, left road and ran into tree
By Caitlin Trude and Melissa Simon


LOVING GRANDPARENTS— Carolyn Anderson, 78, was killed in a car accident May 12 on Tierra Rejada Road. Her husband, 80-year-old Bobby Anderson, was seriously injured in the crash. 
Courtesy of the Anderson family LOVING GRANDPARENTS— Carolyn Anderson, 78, was killed in a car accident May 12 on Tierra Rejada Road. Her husband, 80-year-old Bobby Anderson, was seriously injured in the crash. Courtesy of the Anderson family A solo vehicle crash in Moorpark last week left a Simi Valley woman dead and her husband seriously injured.

Around 9 p.m. May 12, Carolyn Anderson, 78, was driving east on Tierra Rejada Road when her vehicle left the roadway for unknown reasons and crashed into a tree in the raised center median east of Walnut Creek Road in Moorpark, said Dep. William Schneekloth of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Anderson’s husband, Bobby, 80, was in the passenger’s seat. Both were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, police said.

After arriving at the scene, authorities transported the couple to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, where Carolyn Anderson succumbed to multiple traumatic injuries, said a spokesperson for the Ventura County medical examiner’s office.

Bobby Anderson underwent multiple surgeries and as of Wednesday was recovering at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, said Laurie Anderson, the couple’s daughter.

At the time of the crash, the couple was driving home from Moorpark High School after attending their 12-year-old niece’s softball game, their daughter said.

“I was at home and got a call from the hospital (saying), ‘We need someone to come down here, your parents were in a bad accident,’” Anderson said. “I thought I had (more) time. I didn’t think she’d go like that.”

‘She was an angel’

Just a week ago, Anderson said, she had a strong urge to give her mom her Mother’s Day gift early: a planter filled with flowers for her front yard.

“I had to give it to her as soon as possible and I gave it to her about five days before Mother’s Day,” she said.

Now the planter has become a makeshift memorial for her mom—a place where neighbors have come to lay flowers and candles over the past week.

Anderson said her mother was a fun, warm and giving person with “such a good heart.”

“People would talk about how she would do anything for anyone. . . . She was an angel,” she said. “One thing that everybody says is (when) you meet my mom, you don’t forget her. You’re immediately part of the family. Our home was always everybody’s home.”

The couple moved to Simi Valley in 1970.

Carolyn Anderson’s death came as a shock to the congregation at Antioch Church in Simi Valley, which she attended for many years.

Jon Looney, the church’s associate pastor, said he’s known Carol and Bobby Anderson for eight years. The two were very involved in the church, said the pastor, who played on Antioch’s softball team with the pair’s son, Daryl.

“Carolyn was the type of person who would walk into church and just give people hugs. One member even said she made him feel the most welcome and connected to the church,” Looney said. “She had such a warm personality and she’ll definitely be missed by a lot of people.”

Carolyn Anderson is survived by her husband of 54 years and their two children.

The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation, but drugs, alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors, police said. Tierra Rejada Road was closed in both directions for about 3½ hours while authorities investigated the scene.

Anyone with information about the accident can call Moorpark Police Department’s traffic unit at (805) 532-2700.

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