SANTA CRUZ -- A 19-year-old woman who crashed into a tree near East Cliff Drive was pulled from her burning car by a California Highway Patrol officer Tuesday night.

About 9:35 p.m., Brianna Delaney of Morgan Hill was driving a 2006 Mercury Milan west on East Cliff Drive west of Prospect Street, said California Highway Patrol officer Sarah Jackson.

Delaney was under the influence, texting and driving more than 45 mph when she lost control and struck a tree, Jackson said. The car started on fire. Delaney was trapped in the driver's seat.

CHP officer Chad Jessee arrived and pulled Delaney from the car through the back seat. Authorities extinguished the flames.

Delaney was transported to Dominican Hospital with moderate injuries.

She was released from the hospital and booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of DUI, Jackson said.

East Cliff Drive was closed for about 40 minutes as silver Mercury was recovered.

"This young driver's momentary decisions could have had permanent consequences and we are all very glad officer Jessee was able to act quickly," Jackson said. "Please drive sober and obey traffic laws."

See updated story and photo


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