Two individuals suffered significant injuries Monday when the rental truck in which they were riding ran off the curb at Coyote Street and Highway 20, before coming to rest on its side in front of a commercial building.
Three individuals were in the front cab at the time of the 1:30 p.m. accident; one person suffered moderate injuries and was transported to the hospital via ambulance, said Jim Turner, battalion chief with Nevada County Consolidated Fire District.
The two people with major injuries were flown to the hospital via helicopter.
The names of the three involved individuals were not released as of press time.
California Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the single-vehicle accident but suspect the brakes of the truck failed after coming down the Highway 20 grade, said CHP Officer Justin Barnthouse.
When Officer Scott Goin of the Nevada City Police Department arrived on scene, one of the individuals in the car was attempting to break the windshield with a steering wheel club, Turner said.
Goin used his baton to break the windshield and helped extricate the three entrapped people.
When Turner arrived, smoke was emitting from the burned brakes, although no fire started, he said.
Justice Soleta, a neighbor to the property where the truck landed, said he was sitting in his backyard with his friend when they heard a loud screeching and a tremendous “boom.”
“It sounded like an explosion,” said Soleta. “I grabbed the phone and called 911.”
The truck was emitting smoke and leaking fuel, and Soleta was afraid it would catch on fire, but firefighters showed up promptly, Soleta said.
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“It sounded like an explosion.”
— Justice Soleta,