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Five vehicles involved in fatal wreck on Highway 49

Driver of red Mustang came into oncoming traffic, officer says
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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One woman is dead, another injured and the occupants of three other vehicles very shaken up after an early evening wreck on Highway 49 near Joeger Road.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Abe Cho, at about 4 p.m. Thursday the driver of a red Ford Mustang traveled into oncoming traffic, striking a tan Infiniti, and continued to swerve out of control, coming once again into the opposing lane of traffic. The Mustang collided with a black Nissan Altima and then proceeded to strike two additional vehicles.

The driver of the Mustang was ejected from her vehicle and died at the scene, Cho said. She was the lone occupant of her vehicle. The woman driving the Altima was transported by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

“I was one of the first hit, by a car flying in the air,” said Grass Valley resident Tammy Saling, who was driving a Chevrolet Silverado four-wheel drive pickup truck. She said she saw a car come across the center lane, hitting another car, and then it flipped in the air and struck her vehicle.

Saling’s truck was hit first in the front, and then in the rear, she said. Although she doesn’t remember clearly what vehicle hit her, there were red remnants stuck in her vehicle, and a piece of the Mustang landed in the bed of her truck. Saling said when she stopped her vehicle, “I saw both the red and the black car just demolished, and a lady lying on the ground dead, I think.”

Allison Crawford of Auburn was one of the first to stop at the scene, where she used her CPR training to help stabilize the Altima driver’s head while help was on the way. As first responders helped extricate the woman from her vehicle, Crawford kept up a conservation with her, “just hoping she survived and pulled through.”

Crawford said the woman was alone in her vehicle, which was full of groceries.

The driver and passenger of the Inifiniti, John and Linda Wood, were driving home to Nevada City when the Mustang, which they said was fishtailing out of control, came toward them.

“I did an evasive maneuver,” John Wood said. “Luckily, it just went down the side.”

The couple was traveling with their 2-year-old Boxer mix, Willow, who was in the backseat. The window on her side was broken out, and after the collision she started climbing to the front of the car, between the door and the headrest, to get to her owners.

“She’s really shaken up,” Linda Wood said as she sat on the roadside, patting her still-trembling dog.

The couple said they were not injured in the wreck, although, John Wood said, “I think my blood pressure is up.”

 

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili@krissik@goldcountrymedia.com.