Authorities ID deceased students

One of the college students killed in a Tuesday wreck on Highway 89 was the daughter of bestselling author Michael Lewis.

Ross Schultz, 20, and Dixie Lewis, 19, both recent graduates of Berkeley High School, have been identified as having died as a result of a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 89, near Cabin Creek Road, between Truckee and Tahoe City. While authorities have only publicly identified Schultz so far, an announcement from Lewis’s university, as well as a statement from her family appearing on, confirmed that she was the second person who died in the accident.

Lewis was the daughter of award-winning author and journalist Michael Lewis, who is perhaps best known for writing the book behind the 2011 movie “Moneyball.” Michael Lewis authored numerous other bestselling nonfiction works, including a book that inspired the 2009 football film “The Blindside.”

At the time of her death, Lewis had just finished her first year at Pomona College, where she played softball and was planning to pursue an education in neuroscience.

Schultz was about to start his third year at Cal Poly Pomona, where he had majored in kinesiology.

Schultz and Lewis were dating, and were traveling together to Tahoe for a vacation when the crash occurred, according to an aunt of Schultz, who spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The two were driving in a Ford Fusion sedan, which apparently veered over a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision between the sedan and a freightliner truck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Both Schultz and Lewis were pronounced dead at the scene, and they are believed to have died instantly from the violence of the impact, said CHP officer Jacob Williams. The driver of the freightliner, a 45-year-old man from Fernley, Nevada, suffered minor injuries.

It is not known why the pair’s vehicle veered into the opposite lane, and authorities have not determined an official cause of the crash, according to Williams. Drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash, he added.

The Placer County Coroner’s Office, the agency responsible for identifying the deceased, had not as of Friday identified Lewis as the woman who died in Tuesday’s wreck. The office is in the process of cross-checking DNA from the deceased with the California Department of Justice before naming the second individual, a spokesperson said. The coroner’s office has already confirmed Schultz as being one of the two who died in the crash.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at

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