Fumbled phone leads to crash

Driver injured but cheated death at scene of prior fatal
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A fumbled cell phone is being blamed for a crash on Auburn Folsom Road near Auburn that left a Loomis man injured but lucky to be alive. The California Highway Patrol released details Tuesday of March 13’s violent crash involving a truck driven headfirst by Loomis contractor Randy Rosalex into a concrete pillar. With the front of the truck crumpled by the impact, emergency personnel labored for 30 minutes to remove Rosalex from his vehicle. Rosalex, 43, was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with a broken leg and a head injury. The pillar was the contact point for a fatal crash less than a year earlier. Efforts to contact Rosalex on Tuesday were unsuccessful but the CHP reported that he was cited for making an unsafe turning movement in connection with trying to retrieve a dropped cellphone. CHP spokeswoman Officer Kelly Baraga said Rosalex dropped his cell phone while trying to answer it and it ended up on the passenger’s side floor. “He looked up and the truck was on the wrong side of the road,” Baraga said. The truck slammed into a pillar supporting the historic PG&E flume, which travels over Auburn Folsom Road. Baraga said the mishandled cell phone incident is a reminder to motorists that they must have hands-free devices for talking while driving by July 1. She added that it would be a good idea to purchase the equipment as soon as possible to become familiar with it before July starts. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at