The California Highway Patrol said Friday that the mystery has been solved in an early-morning accident Tuesday that left a Nevada City woman in critical condition.
But her son is not so sure.
The CHP had received a call of an injury accident on Highway 49 near North San Juan at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, and officers responded to find a Nissan Pathfinder parked at a gas station south of Oak Tree Road.
Barbara J. Ryan, 48, was found in the passenger seat and had sustained major injuries. Joel Theron Webb, 33, of Camptonville, was in the driver’s seat, but it was not clear what his involvement was due to his alleged level of intoxication.
Webb was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and violating probation and was booked and released on $76,250 bail.
Hernandez called the situation a “big mystery”; CHP officers spent several days investigating a number of different possibilities as to how Ryan sustained her injuries.
On Friday, Hernandez said that Webb and Ryan had not been totally cooperative but that Webb admitted he was the driver.
He allegedly had been driving the Pathfinder southbound on Highway 49 near Moonshine Road when he drove onto a wide shoulder on the right-hand side of the highway and began doing doughnuts.
Ryan, who allegedly was not wearing her seatbelt, somehow was ejected from the vehicle.
“We believe the rear right tire ran over her,” Hernandez said.
Webb then scooped her up and drove to the gas station, Hernandez said.
Ryan was transported by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and is reportedly in stable condition.
Her son, Josh Edwards, said she sustained a broken shoulder, arm and wrist, as well as broken ribs.
According to Edwards, Webb was guilty of prior domestic violence against his mother.
“He hit her with her own car,” Edwards said. “I’m very disturbed by this … It doesn’t add up that it was an accident.”
Edwards said he was extremely grateful to the CHP investigator, whose work he called outstanding.
“And I want to thank people for stepping up and saying something,” he said of the community members who called in with information. “To me, that was huge.”
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.