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September 27, 2005

Two-car accident claims the life of a UCSC student

By Jim Burns

An early-morning automobile accident on Hagar Drive on Tuesday claimed the life of a UCSC student and injured three other people. Kenton Dornbush, a 20-year-old College Nine student, died early Wednesday at Regional Medical Center of injuries sustained during the two-car accident. He had been airlifted via helicopter to the San Jose trauma center.

In a message to the campus community, Chancellor Denton provides information about an on-campus memorial planned for Kenton this Saturday, October 1, and about contributions that may be made in lieu of flowers.

Two of the others involved in the accident were students, both of whom were transported to a Santa Cruz hospital; the fourth person, not a student at UCSC, was also airlifted from the scene.

The head-on accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m. midway between Coolidge Drive and the East Remote Parking Lot, just above the access road to the Village housing area. Hagar Drive was closed to through traffic until approximately 11 a.m.

Kenton, who enrolled at UCSC in fall 2003, was very interested in the arts, especially in photography, and was making plans to create his own major.

At the time of the accident, he was a passenger in a white Honda Civic driven by Sean Laws, a 22-year-old not believed to be affiliated with UCSC. The vehicle was traveling down Hagar. The driver was airlifted to Stanford University Medical Center.

Traveling uphill in the other vehicle, a green Honda Civic, were Tatiana Starets, a 25-year-old Oakes student, and Hannah Schilperoort, another College Nine student, age 26. Both of the women were taken by ambulance to Dominican Hospital.

UCSC police believe that the vehicle heading downhill was traveling at a high speed just before the accident occurred. The accident was still under investigation by mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

No information on the extent of the injuries to the accident's three survivors was available on Wednesday.

In addition to campus police, personnel from the UCSC Fire Department and Santa Cruz Fire Department, as well as AMR (American Medical Response) paramedics responded to the accident.

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