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March 5, 2014
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Nevada City man dies in 3-car crash on Hwy. 20

A Nevada City man was killed Tuesday night in a three-car crash on Highway 20 just west of Rough and Ready Highway.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Fevinger, a spokesman for the county coroner’s office, identified the man as Peter Drainville, 33.

He was pronounced dead at the scene of the 8:18 p.m. accident, according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to the CHP, Drainville was traveling eastbound on State Highway 20 in a 1995 Jeep Wrangler, when, for undetermined reasons, he allowed his vehicle to cross the double yellow center lines.

After crossing the double set of yellow lines, the Jeep Wrangler side-swiped a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, traveling westbound on Highway 20.

The Jeep Wrangler then reportedly swerved to the right, back into the eastbound traffic lane, and then swerved to the left again, crossing over the double yellow lines for a second time, where it collided head-on with a 1999 Dodge pickup truck that had been traveling westbound behind the Chevelle.

After the head-on crash, the Dodge pickup came to rest on its wheels, facing south off the north edge of the road and partially blocking the westbound shoulder.

The Jeep Wrangler came to rest on its wheels, facing east off the south edge of the road and partially blocking the eastbound shoulder.

Wade Johnson, 25, of Penn Valley, a passenger in the Dodge pickup, was transported to Rideout Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, the CHP said.

John Bettencourt, 24, of Big Oak Valley, driver of the Dodge pickup, was not injured. Nor was Robert Connell, 31, of Penn Valley, driver of the Chevelle, the CHP said.

Police said all three vehicles had been traveling at about 50 miles per hour.

Highway 20 was closed at the crash location for approximately two hours. Traffic was detoured through Penn Valley and Rough and Ready while emergency crews worked at the scene.

This investigation is ongoing, the CHP said. At this time, it is not known if drugs and or alcohol were involved, the CHP added.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Mar 6, 2014 01:27PM Published Mar 7, 2014 06:58PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.