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Santa Ynez students mourn freshman classmate killed in traffic incident

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Students and faculty at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School were in mourning Friday after learning about the death of freshman student Carina Velazquez, killed during a traffic incident Thursday night.

A statement from the principal on the school's website Velazquez died late Thursday night as the result of injuries suffered when she was struck by a vehicle. She had been taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries.

The California Highway Patrol said the collision happened near the intersection of Refugio Road and Highway 246, which is adjacent to the school grounds. 

"As the minivan crossed through the intersection of Refugio Road, a 15-year-old Santa Ynez High School student crossed in front of the minivan and was struck," the report said.

The driver was an 83-year-old Lompoc woman according to the collision report. Neither drugs nor alcohol played a factor in the crash.

Counselors were available for students Friday, staffing what's called a "safe room" where the students could go to talk or write about their feelings.