One student killed, one injured in crash

A USC student was killed and another injured on Saturday after their car collided head on with another vehicle in Kern County.

Sandy Roberts, a sophomore majoring in cinema-television production, was killed after the car he was riding in passed a truck, lost control and veered into oncoming traffic on highway 46. Roberts died after being transported to Kern Medical Center.

Nicole Deane, who was driving the car and is a sophomore majoring in cinema-television production, was airlifted to KMC, and is in stable condition.

Deane was driving east on the highway near Annette Street at about 7:30 p.m. when she crashed into a westbound vehicle going 55 or 60 mph, according to police. Deane was trying to steer the car back into the eastbound lanes after passing the truck, but she lost control, police said.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those involved and the family of the deceased student,” said James Grant, head of USC’s media relations. “Nothing prepares us for this kind of thing and it’s always a shock to us.”

Counseling will be available to students who need it, Grant said.

26 replies
  1. Dr. Marjorie Chiarolanzio
    Dr. Marjorie Chiarolanzio says:

    I taught Sandy in high school and knew him well throughout his four years. It was never about Sandy but always about everyone else. He was the most selfless human being, determined to bring sunshine and laughter into everyone’s lives. When someone was in need, there he was, never asked to help but always there. His smile was contagious and ever present. I often wondered how so much love and generosity could be within one young man. I feel like one of the fortunate ones to have known him closely and chosen to be the recipient of his kindness and good will. Talent was abundant and inherent to this shining star. I think not of what he could have been, but of what he already was. Sandy, you touched our lives, everyone who was blessed to have known you….a hero, an icon, and a model of what all young people should be. You will be remembered every day for your contribution to humanity. I know you are continuing to bring joy to those around you now. Dr. C.

  2. Jim Geoghan
    Jim Geoghan says:

    There is no way to measure how great a tragedy this is. To see a young man with so much ahead of him lost in just a moment. Our hearts ache for his family.

  3. A friend...
    A friend... says:

    going through highschool with Sandy was nothing short of a priviledge.
    I hadn’t spoken to him in a while, but he ALWAYS came up in conversation with people– I always said “yeah I got this friend who i sjust SO cool and amazing! you’ll see him getting an oscar one day! and there will I be cheering him on, all excited!” — O even spoke about him a few days ago. it’s funny how things like that happen… you meet someone and they leave an everlasting print on your heart and soul. Sandy did that for me and many others. I’m just glad he lived his life to the fullest until the very end…
    I just still can’t grasp the concept that he is no longer here…to his family, take with you all the love from everyone who was touched by Sandy. his had an unique light about him that made everything shine when he was around. he was truly something else.

  4. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    Oh goodness, no words can express how sorry I am for both families. This highway intersection is very close to where James Dean was killed, why haven’t they fixed this route in over 50 years?

  5. Another mom
    Another mom says:

    This is surreal, too painful to fully comprehend. We parents may be older and allegedly wiser but there’s still no understanding why tragedies like this occur, especially to someone with early success in life and such promise for the future.

    I, too, met Sandy and Nicole through my daughter, a sophomore at USC and a member of their close-knit group. It sounds like everyone wanted to be Sandy’s friend. I always enjoyed hearing stories about Sandy’s exploits in The Merry Men, his triumphant group win in last year’s Ed Wood Film Festival, his wonderful personality and sense of humor.

    To Nicole’s family, we wish you a quick physical recovery and emotional strength in the coming months as you adjust to this terrible loss in your life. To Sandy’s family, we cannot begin to imagine what you are going through but we think of you continually. May your memories sustain you during this painful time. It is evident that your son touched and impacted many lives. Please know how much Sandy’s friendship meant to our daughter. He leaves a permanent hole in her heart.

  6. Paula
    Paula says:

    my heart goes out to his friends, family and nicole. Sandy was my Spanish student a year ago. He was an unforgettable student that always gave great energy to the group. I will always remember his presence…

  7. Steve Perlman, Visible Light Digital
    Steve Perlman, Visible Light Digital says:

    It is with great sadness that I learned of Sandy’s passing. It is truly tragic and the entire family is devastated. Being his uncle and in the film industry in Orlando, I was so proud of him being selected to the USC film school and was looking forward to being a mentor and collaborating on projects that would stir his imagination as he developed his production skills and learned new ways to express his creativity. We were looking forward to visiting the NAB trade show in April, no doubt an exciting venue to any 21 year old intent on absorbing everything about film and broadcast. I can’t imagine how those of you in the USC film school must feel to have lost such a friend. It is so unfortunate that we shall never know the true extent of just how Sandy might have touched us all.

  8. Coach
    Coach says:

    It’s horrific!
    Sandy was such a fun, caring and smart child. With all the children I’ve coached over the years and the kids from Temple Sandy stands out. To Mom and Dad, Mimi and Scott…all our syDmpathy and condolences. To Zach, there’s NO answers, just be strong and focus on your education…laugh like your brother would want you to. I hope to learn of the arrangements made. To Nicole, her friends and family, a speedy recovery.
    BTW…here in South FLA we don’t have any 2 lane highways where we can go 55 mph, so it’s hard to understand the terrain there. If there was a mapquest/GPS that took them that route, OMG!

  9. Jaclyn
    Jaclyn says:

    I too went to summer camp with Sandy in Montreal. He was the most amazing person I have ever met. He was always sweet, caring, open-minded and himself to everyone. My heart and thoughts are with his family and friends. I’m sure anyone who’s met Sandy sends their condolences and thoughts as well.

  10. Jacobeli
    Jacobeli says:

    Ive known sandy for about seven years now. He and I were in a small 7 person tv production class in which his skills put him in another category. 2 summers ago we were in the same internship at the city of miami beach communication department. Words cannot express how empty I feel right now. I loved him and i will miss him forever. Rest in peace my friend, ill see you soon enough.

  11. Tara
    Tara says:

    I am terribly saddened by the tragic passing of Sandy. I went to camp with Sandy many years ago in Montreal, Canada. He was a happy go-lucky camper and he was always fun to be around. My thoughts and prayers are with the Roberts family.

  12. friend
    friend says:

    I’m so incredibly sad for Nicole, Sandy, and their families and friends. Such a terribly unfortunate loss of life. May his soul rest in peace. I wish swift healing to all affected

  13. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I went to camp with Sandy years ago in Montreal, Canada, heard the terrible news from a friend. He was such a lively, fun-loving person. He will be missed by those whose lives he touched.

  14. Jordan
    Jordan says:

    If you knew Sandy, he was one of the nicest loving people you will ever meet. I just dont understand why of all people it had to be him. Class of 08 will never be the same. We love you sandy!

  15. Student4
    Student4 says:

    I’m from Kern County and this highway is well known for its high number of fatal car accidents. Unfortunately, people from out of town don’t know this when they type addresses into Google Maps or their GPS devices and take the 2 lane highway inland thinking it’s shorter than taking the 101 the entire way.

    My heart goes out to the students family, hopefully more awareness can be raised about this incredibly dangerous high way.

  16. A Mom
    A Mom says:

    We met Nicole and Sandy through our USC student. Lovely, lovely kids. This is too sad, beyond belief. Our hearts and prayers go out to Sandy’s family… please know how much we liked him immediately when we met him….and to Nicole and her family, and to their friends who also love them, both at home and at USC, who have been so deeply touched by this tragic, horrible loss.

  17. Teri Hyland
    Teri Hyland says:

    All of his friends in Fort Lauderdale are devastated by this news. He was a member of the Improv Troupe Child’s Play and was loved by many. The world has lost a shining star. My sympathy to his parents.

  18. friends in Nashville, TN
    friends in Nashville, TN says:

    People in Nashville who are friends of Nicole are devastated by this news. She is a great person. For people who are “wondering,” she is a totally responsible person. People who met him here said he was a wonderful person. She and Sandy were very happy together. We can but sit beside Sandy’s family on their mourning bench. Nothing prepares a parent for this terrible, terrible moment.

  19. Student
    Student says:

    why was the student driving on the westbound side of the road if they were going eastbound?

      • Student3
        Student3 says:

        Student2, no need to be rude. Student, she was driving on the westbound side of the road in order to pass the truck that was undoubtedly going quite slow. The act is perfectly legal on a two-lane highway. Unfortunately, she lost control in her attempt to come back to her lane.

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  1. […] Sandy Roberts, a sophomore, died Saturday after he was airlifted to Kern Medical Center, according to The Daily Trojan […]

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