Josephine R. Fagan, 36, an adventurous Loudoun County woman who spent her most recent years working aboard fishing boats off the coast of Alaska, was killed Tuesday night when she swerved her car off a rural highway to avoid hitting a deer, Virginia State Police reported yesterday.

Fagan, the daughter of Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank Raflo, was driving on Rte. 601 about 25 miles west of Leesburg at 9:10 p.m. when the car left the road, struck several trees and rolled over, police said.

Raflo said his daughter was on her way from the family's home in Leesburg to visit a friend in Fauquier County when the accident occurred and that she was not wearing a seat belt. State police said Fagan, who was alone in the car, was dead on the scene.

For about four years Fagan had been a cook aboard several fishing boats in the Bering Sea off the coast of the Aleutian Islands. Her father said she returned to Leesburg earlier this year to settle an insurance claim from an automobile accident in which she was injured four years ago and had recently obtained her real estate license.

An avid sailor who had earned a master's sailing license, Fagan spent part of the past summer as a volunteer crew member on the Spirit of Massachusetts, a tall-masted ship that sailed from Annapolis to Boston, her father said.

Fagan described her adventures in Alaska in an interview last June in The Washington Post. "I used to be a 9-to-5 person who had big goals about doing this and doing that," she said. "Now I'm more inclined to put myself in perspective with what's going on around me."

Raflo said his daughter had planned to return to Alaska early next year to fish for salmon.