Q: Whatever happened to the young woman who jumped out of a moving car on I-80 near Penryn in the 1990s? I believe her teacher/coach was driving the car. The coach exited the freeway and came back and shot the girl on the side of the road. Did she survive?
A: Susanna Marie Jacobs, a 16-year-old who had been a star softball player at Highlands High School and in the North Highlands Little League, was shot by her coach, who then killed himself.
Jacobs survived the shooting, which occurred Aug. 8, 1989.
According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, 42-year-old Jesse Aguilar, Jacobs’ longtime friend and coach, had become obsessed with her and was jealous that she was spending more time with a new girlfriend.
In a July 1990 interview, Jacobs told a Sacramento Bee reporter that Aguilar, after picking her up at her home, first drove his four-wheel-drive Toyota truck to a bank, withdrew $400 and stopped at a restaurant for hamburgers. Then they began to drive east on Interstate 80.
Jacobs said Aguilar told her he didn’t want her hanging around with her new friend, then he took out a gun and told her to put it under the seat. He said he was going to drive her to the mountains, kill her and bury her. Then, he said, he would go to Los Angeles and hide out.
Seconds later, Jacobs leaped out of the truck, which was traveling 55 mph. As motorists stopped to aid Jacobs, Aguilar pulled his pickup to the side of the highway and walked up to the motorists helping Jacobs. He suddenly pulled the pistol from under his jacket, shot Jacobs once in the head, then shot and killed himself.