A Nevada City woman was reportedly no longer in custody Friday, less than a day after she allegedly plowed through a police barrier and nearly hit an officer at the scene of a three-car pile-up on Highway 49, south of Grass Valley.
The initial calls to report a couple of vehicle collisions just north of Alta Sierra Drive in the southbound lanes of Highway 49 were logged at 5:31 p.m. Thursday, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s dispatch report.
The California Highway Patrol determined that a 2008 Toyota Scion was headed southbound on Highway 49 and slowed for the stop light at the intersection of Alta Sierra Drive and 49, followed by a 2009 Ford Flex, said CHP spokesman Greg Tassone. As they were slowing down, a 2007 Subaru Impreza reportedly failed to stop for the traffic ahead and collided with the rear of the Ford, which in turn collided with the rear of the Toyota.
Witnesses reported that a man jumped out of the Subaru, leaving a woman in the vehicle, to declare that he was not actually the one driving the car.
“We got a report there was a guy standing in the lanes, then running to the embankment and acting suspiciously,” Tassone said. “For whatever reason, neither of them was willing to claim responsibility for driving the vehicle.”
The names of the man and the woman in the Subaru were not available as of press time Friday.
“They are going to be the responsible party,” Tassone said.
“We are looking at them for the primary factor.”
Officers responded to the scene of the accident and controlled traffic for approximately one hour, Tassone reported.
“At first, there were concerns there were injuries and that someone may need extraction, but ultimately, it was ruled a noninjury,” Tassone said.
Both of the unspecified drivers of the Subaru were tested for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol but were determined to be sober, Tassone said.
While officers were investigating the crash scene, a fourth, unrelated vehicle — a 2004 Dodge SUV — plowed through traffic control and nearly “took out” one of the CHP units, Tassone said.
“The real problem was, they shouldn’t have been trying to drive through an emergency crash scene,” Tassone said.
When officers finally did stop that vehicle, its driver was allegedly Sunny Ricks, 35, who reportedly has a Nevada City postal address, Tassone reported.
Authorities later assumed that Ricks’ attempt to drive through the traffic control area was aimed at avoiding a Placer County warrant for petty theft, Tassone noted.
As of press time Friday, Ricks was not listed as being in the Placer County jail, the website of which indicated she had been booked for a felony embezzlement charge and posted bail sometime between Thursday and Friday evening. No bail amount was listed.
Tassone indicated Ricks could also be charged with an infraction for passing through a traffic control area.
As for the undetermined drivers of the Subaru, Tassone indicated they could technically be charged with a hit and run because neither is claiming responsibility.
“There are no missing cars, but we’re still trying to determine those little elements,” Tassone said.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.