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Michelle Combs, 20 -- Motorcycle Accident

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Michelle Combs, a lifelong Pleasanton resident until moving to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona, was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday at the age of 20.

Combs, a 2003 graduate of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, had also attended Walnut Grove elementary and Harvest Park middle schools in town. She was in her second year at the University of Arizona, majoring in retail business.

After leaving work at a restaurant Saturday night, Combs had accepted a ride on the back of a friend's motorcycle. Tucson police said the crash occurred at 10:40 p.m. when an SUV made a turn and broadsided the motorcycle.

"It was a horrendous accident," said Tucson police detective Richard Gilbert. Combs died at the scene and the motorcycle's driver remained in critical condition Tuesday with head injuries. Neither was wearing a helmet.

The SUV's driver was arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended license, and was cited for failure to yield in a left-hand turn, Gilbert said.

Combs' mother Jocelyn reflected on her daughter's life in a written statement.

"She loved soccer, mostly the running, and track -- especially the hurdles, in which she lettered; candy; baby-sitting lots of children but specializing in twins; driving her Jeep too fast; listening to all kinds of music; traveling and road trips; lip gloss and nail polish," it says.

Combs also liked hiking and snowboarding, shopping and negotiating for good deals, juggling, astronomy and weather, and her fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi.

One of her favorite quotations was, "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today," her mother said.

Jocelyn Combs is a past member of the East Bay Regional Park District board and currently serves on the Alameda County Local Agency Formation Commission.



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