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Paso Robles woman dies of injuries after Highway 154 crash involving donkey

A Paso Robles woman critically injured after she was ejected from her vehicle while trying to avoid a dead donkey on Highway 154 early Saturday morning has died.

The CHP confirmed Monday that Katrina Sue Cummings, 53, died of her injuries Sunday.

Cummings was driving a 2004 Toyota Tundra west on Highway 154, east of Foxen Canyon Road, when she swerved to avoid a dead donkey in the roadway.

The donkey had been struck and killed shortly after 5:30 a.m. by a 2016 Jeep Rubicon driven by Peter Franklin, 24, of Solvang, the CHP said.

Franklin was westbound on Highway 154 when the Jeep struck a donkey that had wandered into the roadway.

The driver stopped the Jeep on the right shoulder and began walking back toward the donkey to remove it from the roadway when Cummings drove by the scene.

After she swerved to avoid the donkey, the Toyota overturned, and Cummings was ejected before the vehicle struck a fence and came to rest on its side in an adjacent field, according to the CHP.

Cummings suffered multiple skull fractures and was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria for treatment.

During the investigation, officers learned the Jeep Rubicon had been reported stolen and arrested Franklin on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle.

The two crashes happened approximately one minute apart and were determined to be separate incidents, according to the CHP.

It was determined that Franklin was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and investigators are doing a routine toxicology report to see whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the second crash.

Both incidents are under investigation by the CHP.

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