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Drugs, alcohol ruled out in Auburn woman’s I-80 crash death

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn woman who was seen driving erratically on Interstate 80 before a crash took her life near Newcastle Aug. 18 has been cleared by blood tests of suspicion that she was driving under the influence. Blood toxicology results released Wednesday by the Placer County Coroner’s Office showed no trace of alcohol or drugs. Amy Kathleen Keith, 33, was pronounced dead at the scene after the Honda Civic she was driving traveled onto the shoulder of westbound I-80, clipped the rear of a freeway service truck and then hit a truck about to be hoisted onto a tow vehicle. Keith’s 4-year-old son was in a car seat in the center-rear passenger seat of the Honda and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the California Highway Patrol reported. The coroner’s office contracts with an outside agency for blood tests and the wait for results was recently extended from about four weeks to three months. That caused a delay in making the results public. The Highway Patrol and witnesses in interviews with the Journal reported Keith’s car was apparently being driven in an aggressive manner on the freeway shortly before the crash. But Keith was also driving at the speed limit of 65 mph just before it left the road, the CHP reported. – Gus Thomson