Two women, 19 and 20, die after car hits tree along Highway 99 in Northern California

Two Butte County women, 19 and 20 years old, died Friday morning after their car went off Highway 99 down an embankment and struck a tree in Sutter County, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The single-vehicle fatal crash was reported shortly after 7 a.m. along the northbound lanes of Highway 99 just south of Live Oak Boulevard, a few miles south of the town of Live Oak.

The women, both from Gridley, were in a 2014 white Honda Accord heading north on the highway, the CHP’s Yuba-Sutter office announced in a news release.

The CHP said investigators determined that the 20-year-old woman was driving the Honda Accord at an unknown but high rate of speed in a sweeping left curve in the highway, and the car went off the road.

The car then went down a slightly descending dirt embankment before the car’s front end struck the tree on the east side of the highway, the CHP said.

Both the driver and the 19-year-old woman in the front passenger seat suffered fatal injuries in the crash. The Sutter County Coroner’s Office will release their names after their families have been notified.

The CHP said alcohol may have been a factor in the fatal crash but that that had not yet been confirmed by investigators.