Kyle Magin
Staff Writer

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September 22, 2011
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DUI, motorcycle wrecks hospitalize residents


California Highway Patrol officers arrested a driver suspected of causing a head-on collision, injuring three people - including himself - and damaging four vehicles Thursday morning.

Adam Duncan, 30, of Auburn, was arrested for impaired driving and released to hospital care after a wreck officers suspected him of causing at 8:28 a.m. Thursday on Highway 49 south of the intersection with LaBarr Meadows Road.

Duncan was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe northbound on Highway 49 south of LaBarr Meadows allegedly in an erratic fashion, at an undetermined but high rate of speed, according to a report filed by the CHP.

Duncan allegedly allowed the Tahoe to drift into the southbound lane where it sideswiped a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Derek Hiatt, a 30-year-old Grass Valley man, according to the CHP report.

Duncan continued in the southbound lane and sideswiped a 1998 Toyota pickup driven by Charles Lowry, a 23-year-old Grass Valley man, according to the CHP.

After the second collision, Duncan's Tahoe continued drifting into the southbound lane and Alison Cohen, a 48-year-old Nevada City woman, steered her 2006 Toyota Sienna to her right to avoid him. The vehicles collided head-on on the southbound shoulder.

Duncan was taken to Sutter Roseville, where he was treated for injuries and evaluated for impairment. He was subsequently arrested for DUI and released to the hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Thursday afternoon, said Robin Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Duncan was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the CHP.

Cohen was airlifted to Sutter Roseville, where she was treated and released for her injuries.

Her 6-year-old male passenger was transported to UC Davis with moderate injuries, though not life-threatening. Officers did not release the passenger's name as he is a juvenile.

Neither Hiatt nor Lowry suffered injuries in the wreck.

Traffic was initially closed, then slowed for about an hour on Highway 49, according to a report filed by Nevada County Consolidated Fire Battalion Chief Spike Newby.

Rescuers, a maintenance crew from the Forest Springs Mobile Home Community and residents from the mobile home park assisted in detouring traffic along a frontage road for construction vehicles in the area.

Rescuers transported a 52-year-old Penn Valley woman to a hospital Thursday morning after she was involved in a solo motorcycle accident.

The woman, who California Highway Patrol officers did not identify Thursday due to the severity of her injuries, was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 at about 9:15 a.m. when she lost control of her bike and was thrown from it, according a CHP report. The accident occurred just east of the intersection with Rough and Ready Highway.

The woman was flung about 50 feet from her bike, a 2006 Harley Davidson, according to Penn Valley Fire Capt. Josh Miller.

The driver was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but it came off her head in the crash, according to the CHP report, which said it was unclear whether it was an approved helmet or a novelty item.

She suffered major head trauma in the accident and was transported via helicopter to Sutter Roseville Memorial Hospital.

Louis Silva, a Smartsville man and big rig driver, witnessed the accident, he said.

The woman was attempting to pass Silva's truck and before completing the maneuver hit her brakes hard, Silva said. The resulting sudden stop "twisted her handle bars" and sent the woman flying over them and tumbling across the roadway, he added.

"It just catapulted her off the bike," he said. "I reached and grabbed my radio right away and I called my boss to tell him to call 9-1-1. I stopped it right there in the street and got out to check on her."

A westbound motorist, Smartsville's Jamie Souders, stopped after seeing the woman in the roadway.

"I went to see what I could do, and it was really traumatizing," Souders said. The woman was bloodied from the wreck, she added.

"I just went over and prayed for her... it felt like she might not make it and I needed to talk to her," Souders said.

The woman awoke before rescuers arrived and appeared very frightened, Souders added.

Both directions of travel on Highway 20 were blocked for about 15 minutes, as the helicopter landed in the roadway to load the rider into the aircraft.

A Waste Management truck struck a power pole on Boulder Street just uphill from Nevada City Thursday, knocking out power to more than 1,049 PG&E customers, officials said.

At about 1:38 p.m., the truck struck a pole which was leaning into the roadway, knocking it over, said Nevada City Police Sgt. Dan Badour.

The collision caused an outage to more than 1,000 Nevada City residents east of the accident scene, a PG&E spokesman said. Power crews were expected to restore power by about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

At about 10 a.m. Thursday, a woman drove a car into the front doors of an office building at 426 Sutton Way in Grass Valley.

The accident did not cause injuries and resulted in minor property damage, said Grass Valley Police Capt. Dave Remillard.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Sep 22, 2011 08:13PM Published Sep 22, 2011 08:08PM Copyright 2011 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.