A Renaissance High student died following a crash Friday afternoon west of Watsonville, according to the California Highway Patrol and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
"We lost a kid," Murry Schekman, the school district's assistant superintendent said Friday afternoon.
The 16-year-old Freedom girl was an upperclassmen at , a continuation high school on San Andreas Road, Schekman said.
"She was a well-liked girl out there," Schekman said. "There's a lot sad people today."
The crash occurred around 1:20 p.m. between a Chevy Silverado truck and the newer-model Volkswagen Beetle that the girl was driving. The vehicles collided near 596 San Andreas Rd., close to Sunset Beach Road, according to CHP officer Chris Micheels.
Officers believe the Bug was heading south and the Chevy was traveling north when the Chevy struck the passenger side of the Volkswagen, Micheels said.
Following the crash, both vehicles were found on the east side of San Andreas Road. Witnesses said a black pickup also may have been in the area or involved, Micheels said.
The girl didn't have a pulse when emergency crews arrived and CPR was started. She was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner was called, according to emergency radio traffic.
A photo of the wrecked car on KSBW Action News 8's website showed the passenger's side of the white Bug crumpled.
The crash happened about two miles south of the school, a route many students take to get back to their Watsonville homes.
The Renaissance High principal, Artemisa Cortez, had heard sirens shortly after the crash and was trying to determine if any of her students had been affected, Schekman said. Shortly after that, she was contacted by emergency personnel who told her the girl had been killed.
Cortez said the school would have counseling services available for students and staff on Monday.
"The whole school is very sad," Schekman said Friday.
A pickup driver, a 67-year-old Watsonville man, suffered minor injuries in the crash, according to Micheels. He was taken to Watsonville Community Hospital for treatment.
Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor, though speed and the off-and-on rain may have been. The CHP is still investigating the cause of the crash.
The road is a two-lane rural thoroughfare that cuts through strawberry fields and rolling hills. It reopened around 3 p.m.
—Bay City News contributed to this report.