Updated Wednesday, 2:50 p.m.
By Carol Rock and Leon Worden
Milly Ericson, an 83-year-old Santa Monica singer/actress who toured with Big Bands and Broadway shows was struck and killed Tuesday afternoon on State Route 14 as she tried to cross the freeway to retrieve a part from her car.
Officer John Lutz of the California Highway Patrol said that according to witness statements and piecing together circumstances of the fatal accident, Ericson was seen carrying something when she left the center divider, crossing traffic lanes to get to the Via Princessa northbound onramp, where her car was parked. Lutz said that she had retrieved the plastic wheel underliner that had fallen off her car in the southbound lanes and was bringing it back to the vehicle when the accident occurred.
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The collision occurred at 1:50 p.m. across from the Via Princessa on-ramp to the northbound 14 Freeway in Fair Oaks Ranch. Ericson was hit by a 2006 Toyota Corolla driven by 64-year old man from Palmdale.
The Corolla was in the fast lane and the driver tried to take evasive action, but he struck the victim, “hurling her into the No. 2 lane,” the report said.
At the scene, the left front end of the gray or silver Corolla was smashed in and its windshield was shattered but not broken through, as if struck by a heavy object. The driver was uninjured.
Ericson was a singer who toured with Big Band leaders Tommy Dorsey and Ray Anthony and was a regular on radio musical/variety shows and made a successful move into TV and commercials, appearing in shows such as “Coach” and “The John Laroquette Show.” She was cast by director Hal Prince in the role of Susan in the national touring company of “Company”, working with Elaine Stritch and George Chakiris and still enjoyed performing in cabaret at Southern California nightclubs. She also had her own photo retouching studio, where she worked with several celebrities.
Northbound traffic was diverted off the freeway at Via Princessa, rerouted along Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road to the Sand Canyon on-ramp. The northbound HOV and fast lanes reopened about an hour after the collision.