Household worries lady’s diabetes performed half in wrong-way crash


SAN DIEGO – After the fatal frontal crash in San Ysidro last week, the family of the woman behind the wheel of the wrong car wonders if her health played a role in the tragedy.

The San Ysidro Interstate 5 collision attracted attention across California, in large part because the vehicle that was hit head-on belonged to married detectives from the San Diego Police Department. The driver of the other vehicle was officially identified as a 58-year-old Ramona woman, Sandra Daniels, by the district doctor on Thursday.

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Daniels’ husband Darrell had been waiting eagerly for the report, hoping to find a specific detail. “We were really hoping the pathologist could tell us her levels were low,” he told FOX 5.

Darrell says his wife is a Type 1 diabetic and he believes her blood sugar levels may have been low when she drove south on the freeway and headed north. But Thursday’s report failed to shed light on that scenario: the cause of death is listed as “pending”, the type of death is “pending”, and the contributing factors have been left blank.

“The coroner said they can’t find any low sugar levels,” Daniels explained. “You can see high (scores) when you’ve passed away, but not low.”

FOX 5 contacted the County Office Thursday and learned that some of these details may still be made public in a final report. Beyond that, the coroner made no further comment.

For now, the grieving family is amazed.

“I’m not trying to make excuses or make legal defenses,” Daniels told FOX 5. “That suits me the furthest. I just want to get the word out and educate people about diabetes and the harm it can do to your family if you don’t control it. “

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A diabetic’s pancreas produces little or no insulin. Daniels says his wife has had the condition since she was 17. Type 1 is a chronic condition that neither diet nor exercise can cure, unlike some with type 2 disease.

To keep her levels under control, Sandra used a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that warned her if her blood sugar levels were too high or too low.

“She left it at home that morning,” said Daniels. “When I got home, he was sitting on the couch and beeping and I was like, ‘Oh, this shouldn’t be here.'”

He said the next clue that something was wrong is how far south she was on the day of the crash. The family lives in Ramona and they had an appointment near Balboa Park, but Sandra was down near San Ysidro and was driving back north on the highway in the wrong direction.

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“I think she was about to pass out,” said Daniels. “You go through periods of hypoglycemia … It’s a narrow window and (if) you don’t get anything to eat in that narrow window, pretty soon you forget about food and your sugar goes down and down until you pass out.

“I don’t think she was the kind of person who could hurt anyone. I apologize to the officials’ families. We support law enforcement. That’s the worst that could have happened. “

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