A 53-year-old Ramona woman died after the car she was in was hit head-on by a SUV apparently driven by tribal public safety workers near a casino on the Barona Ranch Indian Reservation near Ramona.

Graciela Bustos was wearing a seat belt as she was a passenger in a northbound Nissan sedan that was struck by a 2007 Ford Expedition. Photos from the scene showed a marked security vehicle with front-end damage.

California Highway Patrol car. Photo by Chris Stone

The SUV crossed the double-yellow line in the 15000 block of Wildcat Canyon Road, south of San Vicente Road, at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday, according to the California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The SUV was headed south at 25-40 mph prior to the crash, and the Nissan was travelling at about 35 mph, a CHP dispatcher said.

The Nissan’s driver and Bustos were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where Bustos was pronounced dead about an hour after the crash, authorities said. The driver of the Expedition was also treated at a hospital with cuts to his right arm, the CHP said.

Both vehicles sustained major damage, according to the CHP.

Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor, CHP officials said.

 –City News Service

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