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Wife of Village News/Valley News publisher killed in freeway accident; truck driver could be charged with manslaughter

Carolyn Sue McElhaney, 52, the wife of Village/Valley News publisher Scott McElhaney was fatally injured in a four-vehicle collision Monday, August 9, shortly before 6:30 a.m., on Interstate 15 in Escondido.

According to the California Highway Patrol, McElhaney was traveling southbound on Interstate 15 just north of Ninth Avenue when her Mercedes sedan was struck from behind by 28-year old Jackson Redmond of Colton who was driving a Dodge Ram pickup at about 60 miles per hour. Authorities said Redmond said he was changing lanes when he encountered stationary traffic ahead of him on the roadway and was "unable to stop in time" to keep from rear-ending McElhaney's vehicle. The force with which McElhaney's vehicle was struck propelled it into the back of a Toyota Avalon, which in turn struck a Toyota Sienna.

McElhaney and three others involved in the accident were transported to Palomar Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly afterward. Authorities said the others were treated for minor injuries and Redmond did not require hospital treatment at all.

In a telephone interview this morning, CHP public information officer Eric Newbury said the investigation into the accident is still underway and if Redmond is found at fault in the fatal collision, his agency will recommend that manslaughter charges be filed against him.

"Depending on the outcome of the investigation, it will be up to the District Attorney how to proceed," said Newbury. "A decision would have to be made whether he would be charged with felony or misdemeanor manslaughter." Newbury said the determining factor would be whether Redmond's action was considered to be "grossly" negligent or not. At this time, Newbury said it appears that neither alcohol nor drugs played a role in the crash.

Carolyn McElhaney resided in 4S Ranch San Diego with her husband, and was the owner of a Postal Annex store in that community.

She is survived by her husband, Scott; sons Derrick (Jessica) Breaux and Tyler McElhaney, both of 4S Ranch San Diego, Calif.; daughter Angelique (Paul) Julian, Newport Beach, Calif.; grandchildren Ashley, Peyton and Audrey Breaux, and Cosette and Giovanna Julian; and many other family members and friends.

Scott McElhaney assumed the position of publisher of Village News Inc. / VN Media in February. The media group publishes the weekly Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Temecula Valley News, and Anza Valley News; monthly Village Lifestyle magazine, and annual Greater Fallbrook Area Sourcebook.

 

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