AN INQUEST has been opened into the death of a woman who died in a car accident while she was in California.

Patricia Sanz Munoz, from Warwick Road, Reading, is believed to have been visiting America with her son when the pair were involved in the fatal collision on July 16.

The 45-year-old mother and her 12-year-old son crashed on Route 128, on the Mendocino County embankment after the car they were travelling in started to roll back down the slope.

Her husband, Chris Parsons, who was driving the car, got out of the vehicle before it began to roll backwards.

The boy was rushed to Oakland Children’s Hospital after the mother and son were ejected from the car, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Munoz was found dead at the scene, while her son escaped with minor injuries.

The inquest into Munoz's death was officially opened by Berkshire's Coroner Office on July 30.

Reading Chronicle:

A date for the full hearing is yet to be determined.

A CHP spokesman said: "The woman was identified as Patricia Sanz Munoz, 45, from Reading, England.

"She rode in the front passenger’s seat and died at the scene.

"The child, who was from the same town, was transported to the Oakland Children’s Hospital. He rode in a rear passenger’s seat. Both were ejected from the vehicle."

According to CHP, the accident occurred at around 3pm local time, when three people were driving in a Hyundai Santa Fe and encountered another car that had deposited bails of dirt on the steep incline.

Parsons stopped to help someone clear dirt that had spilled onto the road, while both Munoz and her son, who was in a rear passenger’s seat, stayed inside the car.

For unknown reasons, the vehicle started to roll backwards down the slope and down the embankment, resulting in the death of Munoz and the injury of her son.

Drugs and alcohol were determined not to be a factor in the collision, but the incident is still under investigation.

It is standard practice for an inquest to be arranged when there is a death overseas.

Donations are being invited for Smart Works Reading here through funeral directors A.B Walker.