Matthew Renda

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September 28, 2012
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Man injured in boat crash returns home

A Penn Valley man severely injured in Lake Englebright boating accident, in which both his wife and daugther were killed, has returned home after a nearly week-long stay at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Paul Peterlin, 42, was piloting a boat Sept. 15 when Jeffrey Sandow, 53, of Auburn, crashed into his vessel, said Yuba County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Damon Gil.

Peterlin’s wife, Cynthia Peterlin, 42, and his 12-year-old daughter, Sophie Peterlin, were killed in the collision.

Sandow was allegedly intoxicated at the time, Gil said.

On Thursday, Peterlin told The Union he is “surviving” and has a long way to go on his road to recovery.

“The (rehab workers) are trying to get me back walking, and I am just trying to take care of myself,” Peterlin said.

Paul Peterlin suffered head trauma in the collision and said he has experienced problems with his short-term memory, but doctors have told him his mental faculties should return to optimal operation as he recovers.

“I remember a little of the accident,” he said.

Peterlin said he is aware that Sandow was allegedly under the influence at the time of the crash, which left him seriously injured and killed his beloved family members.

“I’m pretty upset,” he said. “But I am spending most of my energy in trying to get well and take care of my two sons.”

Brock Peterlin is a freshman at the University of San Diego and Alek Peterlin is attending William & Marian Ghidotti High School on the Sierra College campus in Grass Valley.

“My oldest seems to be getting better, and I am extremely proud of him,” Paul Peterlin said. “Alek took it pretty hard.”

Paul Peterlin’s brother and sister-in-law are at his Penn Valley house on a full-time basis and the three of them are still attempting to help Alek Peterlin process his grief.

“We just want to try to help lessen the blow, make sure that he is in the same routine and give him the emotional support he needs to deal with this,” Paul Peterlin said.

Peterlin expressed gratitude for the swell of support he has personally received throughout his ordeal.

“We have neighbors stopping by and bringing us food and helping with the yard work,” he said. “I appreciate it so much. I like this community.”

Paul Peterlin is in the Air National Guard and served at Beale Air Force base, said Debra Fordyce, a command sergeant in the United States Air Force.

Last Friday, community members came together at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Grass Valley to mourn the loss of Cynthia and Sophie Peterlin.

The speakers at the ceremony characterized Sophie Peterlin as a bright and outgoing girl, who had many friends and excelled in academics. Cynthia Peterlin was spoken highly of as a great mother and a woman who was always involved with the community.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call (530) 477-4239.

“I’m pretty upset, But I am spending most of my energy in trying to get well and take care of my two sons.”

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The Union Updated Mar 12, 2013 06:09PM Published Oct 1, 2012 07:56AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.