A young mother and her 3-year-old son were killed in a traffic accident near the intersection of Highway 174 and You Bet Road at around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Janelle Dieteren, 25, of Grass Valley, was killed along with her son, Anthony Sigala, who had recently celebrated a birthday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Justin Barnthouse.
“I lost my daughter and my grandson,” said Brenda Dieteren, Janelle’s mother, when reached by phone Wednesday morning.
“I am still in a state of shock.”
Janelle Dieteren graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2006, according to her Facebook page. She was born in Riverside, Calif., but moved to Grass Valley when she was five years old, said Lauren Gregory, her cousin.
Dieteren was working at a restaurant at the time of her death, but had recently graduated from MTI Vocational College in Sacramento with a degree in medical assisting, Gregory said.
“She was so loving,” Gregory said. “She had the biggest heart ever.”
The two cousins, who were close in age, were fond of snowboarding and travel.
One of her fondest memories of her cousin was traveling to Machu Picchu, the famous Incan village built on mountain ridge, in Peru with the rest of her family seven years ago.
“We are just pretty beat up about it right now,” Gregory said.
Janelle Dieteren was driving a 2005 Ford 500 northbound on Highway 174 south of You Bet Road at a high rate of speed Tuesday morning, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Dina Hernandez.
She lost control of her vehicle as she entered a curve and crossed over the double yellow line, then began spinning counterclockwise as her vehicle entered the southbound traffic lane.
A man identified as Eric James Little, 38, was driving southbound in his Dodge pickup and tried to avoid the collision by braking and steering to the right.
He was unable to avoid the Ford, however, striking it on the passenger side.
The impact killed Janelle Dieteren and Sigala.
Little sustained moderate injuries and was going to seek medical treatment on his own, according to Hernandez.
“He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Hernandez said.
“He did everything he could to avoid (the collision).”
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.