Valley Springs, CA Change


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Matthew Hedger
07/31/2014 8:27 AM
William Michael Janssen

Before the Sand Fire began its rampage through northern Amador County on Friday, an array of vehicle accidents and emergencies were already keeping first responders busy on area roadways — a trend that lasted well into this week.

The infamously dangerous intersection at Buena Vista Road and Highway 88 saw another accident Thursday, July 24, that left several 1,000 pound bales of hay strewn all over the road just after 7 a.m.

The California Highway Patrol said Andrew Bonham, 69, of Ione was northbound on Buena Vista Road and stopped in his 2005 Ford F250 pickup truck at the intersection and did not see a 1999 Freightliner driven by Marcus Silva, 34, of Catheys Valley approaching in the westbound lanes of Highway 88. Bonham proceeded into the intersection and although Silva attempted to swerve away to the right, he was unable to avoid a collision. As Silva swerved back to the left in an attempt to stay on the roadway, the entire left side of the trailer impacted Bonham’s truck and caused the trailer to overturn, spilling the hay bales onto the roadway. Neither man was injured in the mishap.

Later that same day, at around 3:10 p.m., a Shingle Springs woman sustained minor injuries after riding her 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle through a barb wire fence on Latrobe Road just north of Lorentz Road. The CHP said Sherrie M. Long, 48, was southbound and slowing for a left hand curve when the accident occurred. Long was unable to negotiate the curve and applied her brakes, causing the big bike to continue in a straight line, over the northbound lane and through the fence. Long refused medical assistance at the scene. The fence sustained minor damage.

A Pine Grove man woke up in the hospital Friday morning, after being involved in another motorcycle accident on Highway 49 south of the Middle Bar Road. The CHP said Christopher C. Flattery, 31, was driving southbound on the highway on a 2004 KTM “under the influence of an alcoholic beverage” when the accident occurred just after midnight on Thursday. Flattery rounded a curve and saw another vehicle stopped in the roadway in front of him. The CHP said as Flattery began to slow down, due to his “level of alcohol intoxication,” he lost control of the bike and overturned it. He was taken to Sutter Amador Hospital for treatment of major injuries and was placed under arrest.

Also on Friday, at around 1:40 p.m., A Gardnerville, Nevada woman complained of pain and minor injuries after a solo vehicle accident on Highway 88 west of Peddler Hill. In that incident, the CHP said Cheryl Rogers, 60, was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer westbound when she allowed her vehicle to drift off of the shoulder of the roadway and into a drainage ditch. Unable to steer it back onto the road, Rogers continued down an embankment before the Ford rolled over. She was taken by ambulance to Sutter Amador Hospital for treatment.

Also on Friday, a Chicago, Illinois man was involved in a solo accident on Ellis Road off of Highway 88 Upcountry when he tried to retrieve a water bottle that had rolled off the seat and onto the floorboard. The CHP said Yevgeny Ostrovsky, 37, was driving a 2014 Subaru Outback northbound on Ellis Road at approximately 10-15 mph when he leaned over to pick up his water bottle from the passenger side floorboard. “He retrieved it, then sat up to (his vehicle) collide into a tree on the west shoulder,” read the report. Ostrovsky was not injured in the incident, and no citations were issued.

On Sunday, a rear-end accident on Highway 88 at Kay’s Road Road in Pioneer left one driver and a passenger complaining of pain. The CHP said Joseph Pistritto, 53, of Volcano, was driving a 1991 Nissan westbound on the highway when he collided with a 2009 Toyota driven by Dalania Johns, 39, of Pioneer, who was slowing in front of him in an attempt to turn left onto Kay’s Road. Both Johns, and Chablis Miller, 22, also of Pioneer, complained of pain after the collision. Another passenger in the vehicle, Glen Johns, 70, also of Pioneer, was uninjured, as was Pistritto.

Authorities said alcohol played a factor in a single car accident hit and run accident in the early morning hours on Monday, July 28. The CHP said William Janssen, 55, of Pioneer, was driving a 1994 Chevrolet on McKenzie Drive, east of Tiger Creek Road, when he ran off the road and into the yard of a homeowner. The collision caused damage to both the vehicle and property at the home, and rather than contacting the homeowner, Janssen reportedly fled the scene in his damaged vehicle. Investigating CHP officer Joseph Justice located Janssen a short time later, still in his car, and arrested him on driving under the influence charges and hit and run.

Later in the day, another solo vehicle accident on Buena Vista Road south of Camanche Parkway North in the Jackson Valley left an Ione man with moderate injuries. The CHP said Mike S. Santos, 46, was driving a 2011 Chevrolet northbound on Buena Vista Road when he failed to negotiate a left hand curve in the roadway and struck a roadside paddle marker before plunging down a steep embankment approximately 30 feet. Santos was taken by a private citizen to the Sutter Amador Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.

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