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College student killed when SUV hits tree

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Updated: 1/17 8:07 pm
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A 22-year-old woman was killed when her SUV went off the road and hit a tree in St. Johns County.

The SUV split in two upon impact.

The victim has been identified as Natalie Lynn Starratt.  She attended St. Johns River State College, according to a spokesperson at the college.

Action News spoke to her family, who didn't want to comment on camera, but said she was pursuing a degree in the medical field and worked at a local day care. Starratt lived with her parents in St. Augustine and was an only child.

Deputies received a call about the crash in the 3400 block of Joe Ashton Road shortly before 7 a.m. But the exact time of the crash is still unclear because there were no witnesses. According to investigators the engine was cold when deputies arrived on scene.

"Very few people do travel this area at night. It's not well lit because it is a remote area and of course, that's a dark vehicle. So people may not have seen it if they did pass by," said Sgt. Catherine Payne.

Investigators say her Kia Sorento was going southbound when it left the road after going around a curve. 

According to driver Alvez Barkoskie, the curves on Joe Ashton Road are especially dangerous.

"Speed limit should be dropped to at least 35 on these curves," said Barkoskie. "One of the curves at least is too sharp, entirely too sharp," he said.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, in the past three years SJCSO has worked nine crashes on Joe Ashton Road, two of them involving serious injuries and there was a fatality in 2007.

The Florida Highway Patrol said it has investigated five crashes on that stretch of road since 2012.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in Friday's crash.

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