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Woman at center of deadly Newport Beach crash was driving 90 mph

January 17, 2011 |  3:33 pm

Newport Beach crash

A Newport Beach woman was driving upward of 90 mph on Newport Beach's Coast Highway when she swerved into oncoming traffic, resulting in a 10-car pileup that killed her and two other people, a family friend who has seen the preliminary accident investigation report said Monday.

Julia Allen, 27, who went by the name Julie, was speeding east Saturday afternoon on a narrow stretch of Coast Highway lined with banks, storefronts and car dealerships when she crossed into oncoming traffic. Her car hit three vehicles before broadsiding a pickup truck turning left in front of her. Her car became airborne and landed on a motorcycle and other cars facing west at the Riverside Avenue stoplight. The truck's driver, Christopher De La Cruz, 49, of Laguna Niguel and his mother, Linda Burnett, 69, of Santa Ana also died in the wreck.

Newport Beach police have yet to determine whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident or whether Allen had become distracted before swerving into oncoming traffic.

Family members of De La Cruz and Burnett declined to comment Monday. Allen's friends have described her as a former Stanford University track standout and one of the country's premier high school track stars. She was a state champion runner while at Corona del Mar High School.


Driver at heart of 10-car pileup in Newport Beach was a former Stanford track star

-- Joseph Serna, Howard Blume and Nate Jackson

Photo: Three people were killed when Julie Allen's Ford Taurus swerved into oncoming traffic on Coast Highway. Police say it's unclear whether alcohol, drugs or distraction were involved. (Laurie Morrison / January 16, 2011)