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Local Realtor and Rotary Member Marguerite Burbank Killed in Car Crash

Longtime Mill Valley resident and noted horse enthusiast died when her car veered off a road for an unknown reason after an event Friday at the Riverside Equestrian Center near Petaluma. Her dogs Molly and Max also died in the crash.

A longtime Mill Valley resident and real estate agent died in a single car crash near Lakeville Road east of Petaluma on Friday afternoon, according to the Sonoma County coroner's office.

Marguerite Marie Burbank, 61, was driving a 2006 Audi A4 on a private road between the Riverside Equestrian Center and Lakeville Road when the crash happened sometime around noon, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The Audi drifted to the left for an unknown reason, went off the north end of the roadway and overturned as it drove into a ditch full of water, according to the CHP. Only the front wheel was visible, and a passerby notified the CHP around 3:50 p.m. that a car was upside-down in the ditch.

The Sonoma County Fire Department responded with the CHP and removed Burbank and her two deceased dogs Molly and Max from the vehicle. Burbank was pronounced dead at 4:26 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

CHP Officer Jon Sloat said the private road is straight at the point where the car went off the roadway, and that either a medical emergency or inattention might have caused the crash.

Burbank, a longtime horse enthusiast, was showing a horse at the Riverside Equestrian Center at 76 Lakeville Road and was believed to be on her way home when the accident occurred, Sloat said.

Burbank was well known through Mill Valley and southern Marin. She had been a real estate agent since 1989 and was most recently with in Mill Valley.

"She was an avid rider and horse-lover having just finished up a happy day doing what she loved - riding her beloved Stuart, and was on her way to do errands," said Marin Association of Realtors President David Smadbeck in a statement. "Everyone is shocked, broken-hearted and in complete disbelief."

Burbank was also a longtime member and past president of the .

“She was a vibrant, active woman – and she will be greatly missed,” said Mill Valley Rotary member Robert Brownstein.

Burbank is survived by her husband Russ and her 25-year-old daughter Katie. A private memorial is set for this weekend in Mill Valley, and the Mill Valley Rotary's weekly Tuesday lunch will be dedicated to her memory, Brownstein said. The family is asking that donations in her memory be sent to the Mill Valley Rotary. Check back later this week for more reactions to Burbank's passing.

--Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Meg Jacobs May 22, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I am so saddened by this news. I have known Marguerite through horseshowing for many years and she was always happy and fun to show with. She will be greatly missed by her horse family. Meg Jacobs
Iga Schaffer May 22, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Marguerite was such a beautiful and vibrant person who had such a zest for life. I loved her smile. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Ken Wachtel May 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Marguerite was a spark of wonderfulness and involvement in Mill Valley and she will be missed. She was a good friend to me and to our family and I will forever miss her happy attitude and meaningful contributions to our town. She was more than a Real Estate Agent; she was a catalyst for so many people and projects. I shall miss her and we have all lost a good friend.
Nancy Pasky May 23, 2012 at 03:12 AM
What a loss and a sad day for us all. I will remember Marguerite for her effervescent personality and her love for her horses, dogs and family. A true pleasure to work with in the real estate arena. She will be missed.
pamela nichols May 24, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Oh Marguerite, thank you for sharing your bright shining soul with us all. You are such a "kick ass women" and an inspiration to us all--making the impossible happen! And of course putting the things that mattered the most; your family, riding your horse, walking your dogs, trips to Tahoe etc. at top drawer-- living life to the fullest- taking the time to fly freely into that good nite. RIP sweet sister love and healing to your family. Pamela Nichols


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