Highway 49 crash closed road Thursday afternoon

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Three people were transported to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital after a turnover collision on Grass Valley Highway Thursday afternoon. Around 12:35 p.m. a Chevrolet Metro was stopped at the highway’s intersection with Lorenson Road. A Mazda Miata approached the vehicle, heading toward Grass Valley. “The Metro didn’t see the Miata and pulled out in front of it, and the Miata struck the left side of the Chevy Metro,” said Officer David Martinez, spokesman for the Auburn-area California Highway Patrol. The Miata overturned during the collision, Martinez said. Melanie Harnage, 34, of Nevada City, was driving the Miata. She was transported to the hospital with minor visible injuries and complaints of pain. There were no passengers in her vehicle, Martinez said. Kathryn Fisher, 20, of Auburn, was driving the Metro. She and her passenger, Samantha Devlin, 20, of Grass Valley, were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Martinez. Martinez said no alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash. The highway was closed for about 10 minutes in both directions and reopened at 12:50 p.m. The highway patrol, Placer County Sheriff’s Office and local fire crews responded to the scene. Martinez said he doesn’t know if lack of headlights were a factor in the crash, but the highway patrol-enforced usage of headlights in the daytime on a stretch of Grass Valley Highway can help lower the risk of an accident. “Obviously with your headlights turned on you see vehicles at a greater distance from you,” Martinez said. “When you are entering a highway make sure you allow plenty of room … just be patient.” Reach Bridget Jones at