Revelle College Senior Passes Away in Car Accident

Barbara Cano, a Revelle College senior majoring in physiology and neuroscience, died Sunday, Jan. 30, in a collision on her way to work as a nanny.

“We’re in total shock…total shock,” Cano’s aunt Rosita Olmstead said.

Cano was traveling southbound on Interstate 15 and took the State Route 56/Ted Williams Parkway exit, where she was initially in the right lane taking State Route 56.

According to the California Highway Patrol collision report, Cano veered left for an unknown reason and traveled across the off-ramp into a dirt area causing her to go airborne. The vehicle then traveled over the dirt area and onto I-15, where the vehicle collided with another.

The individuals in the other vehicle, a 41-year-old female driver and a 10-year-old female passenger, survived.

“As her father, I watched my daughter Barbara grow from a teenager into a beautiful, responsible young adult,” Nicolas Cano said in an e-mail. “As the cliché goes, ‘the good die young,’ and Barbara’s journey has ended. In spirit of Barbara, live each day to the fullest for life is not to be taken for granted.”

Cano attended Mission Hills High School in San Marcos, moving there her junior year in order to live with her mother.
Dallas Patterson, a high school friend who was her date to junior prom and on the swim team with her, commented on Cano’s personality.

“The biggest thing that you always noticed about her was how friendly, smart and hardworking she was,” Patterson said. “She was really intelligent, really ambitious [and] really motivated. She really knew what her goals were [and] what she wanted to be, which was pretty unusual for most of the people I knew back then.”

For her senior year, Cano returned to her hometown to attend Los Lunas High School in New Mexico. Cano then enrolled at UCSD, where she was scheduled to graduate this June.

“Barbara went to San Diego to attend UCSD to pursue her dream of becoming a neurosurgeon,” Cano’s father said. “While there, she made many friends and there were countless experiences, I heard of many.”

Patterson commented on her career goals. “She seemed to be the only one who knew where she was going,” Patterson said. “When I first met her, she always knew she wanted to be a doctor. She always talked about it. She was very, very studious [and] very hardworking.”

Cano was a member of UCSD’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority for two years.

UCSD alumnus Krystle Vega was one of Cano’s sorority sisters and a close friend with whom Cano spoke with on the phone every day.

“I am beyond grateful to have had Barbara as such a huge part of my life for the past four years,” Vega said in an e-mail. “I am honored to have such a warm, loving, fun and selfless best friend that would do anything to make the people she loved happy.”

Volunteer Services Manager Susan Vandendriesse said Cano was a volunteer for Scripps Memorial Hospital-La Jolla since last summer.

“She was a dedicated volunteer who was very supportive of our staff and patients,” Vandendriesse said. “All of our volunteers are a big part of our staff here and I think she was pursuing a career in medicine and will be missed by all of the people that she worked with or volunteered with here.”

Cano’s family in New Mexico will be holding a memorial and funeral service for her. A date has not yet been set.

“We don’t know anything yet because they’re supposed to bring her body home and they haven’t released her yet,” Olmstead said. “We still don’t know anything as far as when services will be.”

Olmstead and Patterson said there will be a memorial service for her in San Diego as well, but the date has not been determined. Cano is survived by a brother, her mother Julie Reger and father Nicolas Cano.

“She lived each day, taking none for granted, as some of the journal entries I have come across express [that] ‘there were no bad days,’ Cano’s father said. “Enjoy your lives, follow your dreams, and as my baby girl believed in life and death, make this place a little better having lived.”

Readers can contact Regina Ip at [email protected]