DO grad recovering after Taylor road fatal accident

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Twenty-year-old Raquel Palafox, of Loomis, was just spending a leisurely day with her mom on her first day of spring break when she was hit by a black limousine driven by Loomis resident Antone Eugene McKinley on March 23.

McKinley’s car traveled further down Taylor Road before hitting a van and an embankment on the side of the road. He died at the scene from what the Placer County Coroner’s Office has deemed a “stroke.”

Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Dena Erwin said, “Mr. McKinley’s cause of death was from thrombosis to the vertebral artery, which is a blood clot in an artery in his neck.”

Raquel Palafox, a 2010 Del Oro graduate on an academic scholarship at the University of California, Davis, has had to take this quarter off as she recovers from injuries sustained in the accident.

Her mom, Delores Palafox, was walking next to her when she was hit.

Her sister, Rosie Palafox, 23, said the phone call she received from her mom that day was “The worst phone call I ever received. My sister and I are best friends. I completely lost it.”

Rosie Palafox said when she got the call, her sister was in the emergency room at Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she was being treated for a concussion, broken cheekbone and cuts and bruises. She said doctors later discovered Raquel Palafox had seven broken bones in her foot.

Rosie Palafox said, “She was just taking a Saturday morning walk with my mom. They were going to spend the day together. They didn’t hear anything or see the car. My mom said it happened in seconds.”

She said the car hit Raquel Palafox in her left thigh and she had her hands in her pockets and was thrown to the ground and was knocked unconscious.

“She doesn’t remember anything. She woke up in the emergency room throwing up,” Rosie Palafox said.

She said her sister spent four days in the hospital where she underwent surgery to put metal plates in her cheek.

Andrew Railsback, of Antelope, was a friend of McKinley’s and said they worked together on Tuesdays at Brasher’s Auto Auction Yard.

“We talked about cars and stuff,” Railsback said.

“He had some medical problems six to eight weeks ago and the doctors couldn’t find anything.”

Railsback said he thinks the medical issues were related to what ended up being a fatal stroke suffered by McKinley.

Railsback describes his friend as “always spreading a good word.”

Raquel Palafox said she doesn’t remember the accident, but considers herself lucky that her injuries weren’t more serious.

“If I had walked a little further he would have hit me in the back. I feel like the timing was perfect. I flipped in the air and landed in a grassy ditch,” she said.

The young woman said she is spending her recovery time “resting and reading” and looks forward to returning to school where she is a junior studying sociology with an emphasis on social services.

Raquel Palofox said, “I don’t have any bad feelings. It was an accident. I’m in recovery.”