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Amber Popiel, Santa Clarita Mom, Killed When Car Splits in Half on Soledad Canyon Road

The Santa Clarita woman killed over the weekend in a brutal crash along Soledad Mountain Road has been identified as 30-year-old Amber Popiel.

The victim "graduated from Canyon High School in 2000 and worked at Peterson Dean Roofing," reports the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. She was just a mile-and-a-half from home at the time of the crash. And a neighbor on Twitter says she is survived by...

... an 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

When Popiel hit a tree early Sunday morning around 1:30 a.m., she was reportedly ejected from her vehicle, which then split completely in two. One half of the car ended up on the center divider, while the other half flew over to the right shoulder.

"The tree entered from the passenger's side front door and went clear through the back seat and the trunk," says sheriff's Detective Jeff Maag at the Santa Clarita Valley Station.

The crash occurred near Lost Canyon Road:


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Although the Signal, a local paper, quoted an L.A. County Fire Department inspector as saying "apparently, there was a second victim" -- and quoted the victim's distraught mother as saying, "I want to know -- was she driving or was she a passenger?" -- Detective Maag says there is "absolutely no doubt" that Popiel was the only one in the car.

The two-victim incident referenced by the Fire Department was apparently "not this crash," says Maag.

According to the sheriff's detective, Popiel was traveling westbound "at a high rate of speed" on Soledad Canyon Road when she collided with a Black Locust tree about "eight inches in diameter." The tree was "tipped and barked," says Maag, but didn't come all the way down.

However, following the accident, "I'm sure the city's going to take it out," says the detective.

The last activity on what looks to be Popiel's Twitter account was on Friday morning, when she gave a shout-out to SoCal radio personalities Rico and Mambo.

In the aftermath of the crash, another Twitter user named Keith Terrence wrote: "Just found out sad news, my neighbor died in a car crash late last night. Just seen her yesterday morning, smiling as always."

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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