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February 12, 2014
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Wrong-way driver causes several wrecks on Hwy 20

A wrong-way driver caused several accidents on Highway 20 between Penn Valley and Grass Valley Tuesday morning.

The first call, at about 9:22 a.m., reported that a woman was driving a sedan the wrong way on Highway 20 from Penn Valley Drive toward Grass Valley and caused an accident, said California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Tassone.

A number of callers then reported the woman was at the Highway 20/49 interchange at Empire Street, driving southbound in the northbound lanes.

That’s when Justin Engel encountered the wrong-way driver, forcing him into an accident that seriously damaged his vehicle.

“All I saw was headlights coming straight at me.” Engel said. “I swerved and slammed head-first into the median.”

The driver kept going, Engel said, forcing another vehicle into a ditch.

Engel said he was just bruised and banged up, but that the front end of his car was “munched.”

“Units tried to intercept the vehicle,” Tassone said, adding that several cars were stopped but were not the suspect’s car.

A BOLO was issued, but the car — which was variously described as grey or blue, possibly a Mazda — was not located.

Anyone with information on this incident can call the CHP office at 477-4600.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Feb 13, 2014 12:30AM Published Feb 15, 2014 10:51PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.