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Officers hand out 80 tickets, arrest two over weekend

Residents happy windy road targeted
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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Law enforcement’s effort to crack down on speeding violations on a winding rural road brought relief to residents who have long warned about its dangers. Over the weekend, Placerville California Highway Patrol officers issued more than 80 citations to motorists crossing the double yellow lines, speeding, riding without a seat belt and talking on their cell phones while driving on Salmon Falls Road, according to Dan Stark, CHP spokesman. Officers also made two driving under the influence arrests on Salmon Falls Road and Highway 49 near Pilot Hill, Stark added. Stark said a special enforcement team of marked patrol cars and aircraft targeted areas where speed violations are common. CHP officials said the enforcement was done in response to a recent fatal collision and traffic complaints in the area. “The special enforcement teams are highly effective in combating problematic traffic areas,” said Lt. Chuck King, commander of the Placerville CHP office, via a news release. “Our main objective is to reduce traffic collisions and make the roadways safer for everyone and I’m confident the special enforcement teams are making an impact.” Pilot Hill residents who live off Salmon Falls Road said they hope the enforcement helps and continues. “We were thrilled that they were out here doing something about it,” Laura Moneypenny said Tuesday. Moneypenny and her husband, Larry, have lived in their current house for about 15 years. Their home is close to the site of a November crash that took the lives of three youths. The driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old Rocklin resident Mark Barrera Jr., survived. On Tuesday, Stark said the investigation continues into the cause of the accident. While others have speculated that street racing or drifting was involved, Stark said officials cannot comment. Stark explained that the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Team is reviewing the case and that it’s common for investigations to take time. “We’re looking into the possibility of any criminal behavior,” Stark said. “Once the investigation is done, we’ll be able to file any appropriate charges, if any.” Margo Farrelly said she remembers the accident and several other collisions on the road. She’s had to replace her fence eight times after motorcyclists lost control on the road and slid into her front yard. “I’ve seen some pretty horrible accidents just in our little stretch,” Farrelly said Tuesday. Farrelly said when she saw officers pulling motorists over in her driveway this weekend, she exclaimed, “Yes! Thank you, God!” “I hope they save some lives by doing this,” Farrelly said. Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com.