Christopher Rosacker
crosacker@theunion.com

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July 7, 2013
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Colfax twin killed in wreck

A Grass Valley cement-truck driver remained in critical condition Sunday, the day after he collided with a small pickup truck containing twins, killing its driver and sending his brother to the hospital in an emergency helicopter.

Donald Bisbee, 48, was driving back to his Colfax home in a Toyota pickup truck with his twin brother, Daniel Bisbee, after the pair had been shopping for groceries, said older sister Rebecca Nagy, also of Colfax.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the pair were headed southbound along Highway 174, just a couple of miles from their home near Rollins Lake, just north of the Bear River Bridge, when a northbound Hansen Bros. cement truck rolled into the southbound lane while going around an advisory 25 mph curve, according to their sister and the California Highway Patrol’s report on the incident.

The cement mixer rolled over and struck the driver’s side of the Bisbees’ truck, pushed it off the road into bushes, then came to rest on its left side, blocking the southbound lane of Highway 174, according to the CHP report.

The Toyota driver, Donald Bisbee, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, while the cement-truck driver, Ronald Harris, 23, was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center by air ambulance where he remained in critical condition Sunday, according to hospital spokeswoman Robin Montgomery.

Daniel Bisbee was also transported by helicopter to that hospital for moderate injuries and was treated and released by Sunday morning, Montgomery said.

Noting that the incident was still under investigation, CHP Sgt. Dee Lavrador would not say whether or not Harris was speeding around the corner and said no charges had been filed against him as of press time.

The agency’s report ruled out drugs or alcohol as a factor in the collision.

Donald Bisbee was raised in Grass Valley, Nagy said, and attended Hennessy and Lyman Gilmore schools before graduating from Nevada Union High School.

The deceased twin worked with his father, Richard Bisbee, at Bisbee Construction, prior to the patriarch’s 2006 death. Afterward, he worked with Nagy at her business, Clean Corners.

The twins are the youngest of six siblings and lived together in Colfax, near Nagy, and their mother, Janet Bisbee, whom the brothers care for.

“They were very, very close,” Nagy said of her brothers. “He was a good brother and will be sorely missed.”

The highway was blocked for approximately six hours as crews from Chicago Park and Peardale fire agencies, the California Department of Transportation and Hansen Bros. worked to removed the overturned cement truck, which Lavrador said was hauling 7.5 yards of cement.

The drum of the vehicle had to be removed first, she said, followed by uprighting the truck.

“It was pretty impressive how they removed the cement drum on the tractor,” Lavrador said.

“It took a lot of people to get it completed.”

Founded in 1953, Hansen Bros. Enterprises is an engineering contractor that has served Nevada County and surrounding communities for more than half a century.

The company is located at 11727 La Barr Meadows Road.

A call to its owner, Orson Hansen, was not returned as of press time Sunday.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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The Union Updated Jul 8, 2013 01:02AM Published Jul 11, 2013 10:28AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.