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Matthew Hedger
07/18/2014 12:18 PM

A Nevada man and an Elk Grove woman somehow managed to escape with only minor injuries after a near head-on collision Tuesday that backed up traffic for miles in both directions on Highway 88 near Sunnybrook.

The California Highway Patrol said Willard Wehe, 68, of Wellington, Nevada, was westbound on Highway 88 east of Upper Jackson Valley Road just before 9:30 a.m. when the accident

occurred. As Wehe drove his 2007 Ford truck, for unknown reasons, he drifted off the north side of the road and onto the gravel shoulder before drifting back onto the road and into the eastbound lanes where he collided with a 2010 Toyota driven by Theresa Cadimas, 49, of Elk Grove. The force of the collision caused both vehicles to overturn before coming to rest in a gully on the south side of the highway. Both drivers sustained only minor injuries, although both vehicles were heavily damaged.

Earlier in the week, on July 12, an Oregon man was hospitalized after being involved in a single vehicle accident on Highway 88 west of Silver Drive that investigators said involved alcohol.

Edward Anthony Pena, 65, of Bend, Oregon, was driving a 1997 Chrysler Sebring eastbound when he failed to negotiate a left turn in the roadway. Pena drove off the edge of the roadway and collided with a road sign and several trees before his car overturned and came to rest on its left side.

Pena suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment. He was subsequently arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

A Jackson man was also arrested for driving under the influence following another single car accident July 13. In that incident, the CHP said John Robert Johnstone, 24, was driving a 2001 Toyota Tacoma truck northbound on Curran Road when, due to his “excessive level of intoxication,” he traveled off the road and struck a tree. Both Johnstone and a passenger, whose name and age were not released, sustained moderate injuries and were taken to Sutter Amador Hospital in Jackson for treatment. Johnstone was subsequently arrested on felony charges of DUI stemming from the injuries to his passenger.

Alcohol again played a role in an accident on Highway 49 north of the Dry Creek bridge, in Drytown, July 15. The CHP said Fredrick Weaver, 64, of Sutter Creek, was driving a 2003 Ford southbound approaching Drytown and the bridge when the accident occurred. Witnesses said as Weaver entered the town and was negotiating a right-hand curve, he increased his speed, was unable to negotiate the curve and crossed over the double-yellow lines in the roadway.

Juan Lopez-Arriaga, a 42-year-old Reno, Nevada resident, was driving a 2003 GMC northbound and attempted to take evasive action, but was unable to avoid being struck by Weaver’s Ford, which, after the collision, came to rest in the parking lot of the Drytown Club. No injuries were reported to either driver, nor to a passenger in Lopez-Arriaga’s car identified as Luis Hernandez, 46, of Sparks, Nevada. Weaver was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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