Tuesday Nov 23 2010
CHP: 27 crashes in Auburn area over the weekend
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
Tow truck company claims best weekend in year
Twenty-seven crashes over the weekend tells California Highway Patrol Officer David Martinez one thing – drivers need to slow down. “There’s always an increase in the number of accidents when it’s the first time it rains,” Martinez said Tuesday. “People are not used to driving in this type of weather and they still tend to drive at their normal speeds, which a lot of times is too fast for the weather.” From about noon Friday to midnight Tuesday, the Auburn highway patrol office responded to 27 vehicle accidents. Ten of those accidents resulted in injuries to some of those involved and two were related to driving under the influence charges for the drivers. “And almost all of (the accidents) were because of speed,” Martinez added. Martinez advised motorists to allow plenty of time to make it to their destination and to let off the gas pedal when the roads are covered in water, it’s raining and there is poor visibility. “People need to slow down and just be more cautious in the rain,” Martinez said. The inclement weather weekend resulted in a boon for at least one local tow truck company. “We probably had the best weekend we’ve had for a year,” Judy Everett, office manager for Hall’s Towing, said Tuesday. The two to three tow truck drivers working over the weekend responded to about 30 calls, including several up in the Truckee/Reno area. “We got a lot of calls from up on the hill,” Everett said. “People were coming down and got stuck in the snow.” Other calls included one from the Auburn Police Department, asking for help pulling a car that ran into a ditch during the weekly farmers market in Old Town Auburn. Everett said that, and calls for broken down vehicles and ones stuck in the mud, are pretty typical throughout the year despite the weather. “Most things that happen always seem to happen at the worst possible time,” Everett said. Martinez said one way drivers can prevent accidents or avoid other roadway pitfalls is to stay focused. The highway patrolman said he still catches people sending text messages and talking on the phone while driving. “Distracted driving is really getting to be a big deal,” Martinez said. “People should hang up the phone and drive.” Reach Jenifer Gee at firstname.lastname@example.org.