Southern California slammed by winter snow storm, stranding holiday travelers; system now heads east

Ns News Online Desk:Ns News Online Desk: Holiday travelers in Southern California were hit with a blustery winter storm Thursday that saw the shutdown of major highways and at least one death as forecasters now warn that the system is picking up strength as it heads to the Central Plains and Upper Midwest.

A 60-year-old woman died in San Diego County at around 6:50 a.m after the vehicle she was a passenger in lost control and veered off the road into an embankment.
The victim, who was not wearing a seat belt and in the back seat, was thrown forward into the windshield and pronounced dead on the scene, California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Christy told  He said that the accident was a result of fresh snow and high speeds but noted that the investigation is still ongoing.

Traffic was at a standstill after heavy snowfall shut down the busy Interstate 5 in Tejon Pass through the mountains north of Los Angeles and stopped traffic on Interstate 15 over Cajon Pass in the inland region to the east.A truck driver was also found unresponsive in a rig stopped along the I-5. He was pronounced dead by Kern County firefighters, although it was not immediately known if the death was weather-related. I-15 finally reopened in both directions in the afternoon but then authorities later shut down about 45 miles of the freeway from Baker, California, to Primm, Nevada, on the way to Las Vegas because of snow and ice.

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