Popular Auburn restaurant server, 3-year-old son die in crash

Janelle Dieteren mourned as a sweet, positive team member at Auburn bar and restaurant
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Patrons and employees of Auburn’s Club Car bar and restaurant are mourning the loss of popular server Janelle Dieteren.

Dieteren, 25, was killed along with her 3-year-old son. Anthony Sigala, in a crash Tuesday on Highway 174 between Grass Valley and Colfax.

Dieteren, a Grass Valley resident, had worked at the Club Car since late last year.

Sarah Nolivo, owner of the Lincoln Way establishment in Downtown Auburn, said the business received a call from Dieteren’s family Tuesday afternoon about her death. Her final shift at the Club Car was on Monday.

“Our staff was really upset and still is,” Nolivo said. “She was just a really good person, positive and sweet – everybody liked here. And it was doubly saddening because of her son.”

Anthony had just celebrated his third birthday on Feb. 24.

Alysha Dieteren, Janelle’s sister, said Anthony was being driven to preschool when the crash occurred on Tuesday morning.

“He was just full of life,” Alysha Dieteren said. “He had a love for trains. He was just the most awesomest little guy.”

Janelle was born in Riverside and moved with her family to Grass Valley at age 5. A 2006 graduate of Nevada Union High School, she loved to travel and go to the beach, her sister said. She had graduated last year from MTI College in Sacramento as a medical assistant.

The Club Car’s Justene Evans said Tuesday’s workday was tough on everyone.

“It was like zombieland but we pushed through it,” Evans said. “She was sweet, quiet and shy. But she was right in step from her first day.”

A California Highway Patrol report on the crash states that Dieteren was driver of a 2005 Ford 500 traveling northbound on Highway 174, south of You Bet Road, with Anthony the lone passenger, in a rear seat.

At the same time, Grass Valley’s Eric Little was traveling south on Highway 174 at 40-45 mph in a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The crash occurred at 8:51 a.m.

“As the two vehicles approached, the driver of the Ford lost control of her vehicle and crossed the double yellow lines,” the report stated. “The Ford began to rotate in a counterclockwise direction as it crossed the southbound traffic lane.”

Little attempted to avoid the collision by steering the Dodge to the right and applying brakes, the Highway Patrol reported. But Little was unable to avoid the collision and the front of the truck struck the passenger side of Dieteren’s vehicle, the report said.

Dieteren and her son were pronounced dead at the scene. Little suffered what were described by the Highway Patrol as moderate injuries.


Arrangements were finalized late Thursday for a memorial service to be held at 4 p.m. Monday,  March 18, at Twin Cities Church in Grass Valley.