Nevada Union graduate dies after head-on collision |

Nevada Union graduate dies after head-on collision

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

A Nevada Union High School graduate died Monday morning after a head-on collision on Auburn Road, just south of Grass Valley.

Collin Dickey, 18, was headed south in a small Toyota Matrix on Auburn Road around 1:30 p.m. Sunday when he collided with a large Ford truck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

While the truck driver, Phillip McCoy, 64, suffered minor injuries, Dickey's injuries were major, including extensive blunt force trauma to the head, chest and extremities.

Dickey and McCoy, both Grass Valley residents, were transported by emergency helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. McCoy had been treated and released as of Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

CHP Officer Justin Barnthouse said his agency was notified by family members Monday morning that Dickey had died.

Dickey was reportedly speeding while traveling toward Archery Way on Auburn Road, so much so that McCoy slowed down considerably, CHP reported. As Dickey approached a slight curve, he reportedly lost control of his small sedan, over-corrected and slammed into McCoy's truck, knocking it off the roadway onto the right shoulder of the road.

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Despite the fact that he was wearing a seat belt, the way Dickey's vehicle spun around ejected him out the side, Barnthouse said.

"He did have it on," Barnthouse said regarding the seat belt. "It just didn't work in this situation, unfortunately."

Drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the collision, CHP determined in its ongoing investigation, Barnthouse said.

In addition to the CHP, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responded to the collision.

"He was such a sweet guy," said friend Dylan Rothchild. "He always knew how to make people smile.

"I was devastated," Rothchild said about learning of his friend's death. "It was unreal for me. Even seeing the news, it doesn't seem real to me."

Dickey worked at Suds Bros. Car Wash, where he had been hired less than a week ago, where he was returning from at the time of his wreck, according to his mother.

Dickey had one older bother. He was a member of both the Nevada Union's compline and chamber choir that both traveled to Baltics in April to perform, along with Rothchild, said choir director Rod Baggett, who described Dickey as a "real good kid."

The choir was one of the things that kept Dickey coming to school, Baggett said.

"I hung out with mostly him on the trip. We did everything together," Rothchild said. "We loved it. It was amazing."

Dickey's passion was music, Rothchild said.

"He really enjoyed being able to sing really well," he said.

"We listened to the same music and had the same views on certain things," Rothchild added. "He was a super-nice guy and always funny."

Calls to Dickey's local family were not returned as of press time.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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