Family mourns death of Los Osos woman killed in car crash

Denise Snider of Los Osos.
Denise Snider of Los Osos.

UPDATE: Donations sought to pay for Los Osos woman's funeral expenses »

The woman who was killed Sunday when her car ran off the road in Avila Beach has been identified as Denise Snider, 44, of Los Osos.

Snider, who enjoyed reading, cooking and working on cars, is survived by her three daughters, Paili Havard, 7, Sarah Jones, 22 of Claremont and Amanda Snider, 25, of San Luis Obispo.

“She was a great mom, a really loyal friend, and there were a lot of people who loved her,” said Amanda Snider. “The hardest part is the loss for my little sister.”

Snider was driving a 1985 Chevrolet pickup on Avila Beach Drive near Sycamore Springs Resort at 12:25 a.m. Sunday when she drove off the road, struck a small tree, traveled down an embankment, knocked down a telephone pole and then struck a large tree, according to the California Highway Patrol.

She was taken to Sierra Vista Medical Center but was transferred via helicopter to Fresno Community Hospital, where she died.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, said CHP spokeswoman Laura Browning. “We are still looking for witnesses,” said Browning. “The accident was heard by occupants at a nearby hotel but we are still hopeful that somebody knew where she was going or heading from.”

Amanda, who had just gone shopping with her mother four days before, said she didn’t know what her mom was doing that night. She said that that she and her mother, who moved to Los Osos more than eight years ago from San Bernardino County, spent a lot of time near the bay, talking, baking and watching movies together.

Amanda said Snider had recipes handed down through her family that she treasured. She had recently started a business making fishing lures, which she enjoyed. Snider also liked working on hot rods and Harley-Davidsons and had always wanted a gun-metal gray ‘69 Chevy Nova, she said. Snider was teaching her four-year-old grandson, Weston Willhite-Snider how to work on cars. She also had a 4-month-old grandson, Blye Richard Snider.

Chrystal Ayers, Snider’s half-sister, met her for the first time 13 years ago after their biological mother hired a private investigator to find Snider, who she had put up for adoption as an infant.

“The time we had was cut way too soon,” said Ayers. “Life is precious and you never know when you are not going to have that chance.” Family members said they are setting up a fund to help pay for funeral costs.

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