Drunken driving suspected in head-on crash on Highway 49 | TheUnion.com
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Drunken driving suspected in head-on crash on Highway 49

A man whose blood alcohol content was reported at three times the legal limit was arrested early Sunday morning after colliding head-on with another vehicle on Highway 49.

Joshua Aragorn Bridges, 35, of Auburn, had been in Nevada City “celebrating,” and was driving a friend’s Toyota Camry because she was having a medical issue and needed someone else to drive, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Tassone.

“She was lying down in the back seat,” Tassone said.



Bridges reportedly began driving southbound on Highway 49 at high speed, in and out of the oncoming lanes.

At just after midnight, Bridges was in the oncoming lane near Smith Lane and hit a sedan being driven by Madai Torres, 31, head-on.




Torres’ car went out of control, flipped over and caught on fire while she was trapped inside, Tassone said.

Passersby were quick to help extinguish the fire, and firefighters arrived on the scene as well.

Bridges’ vehicle also went out of control and continued a short distance before coming to rest.

According to Tassone, Torres’ family, including her children, had been in a vehicle following her but had just stopped for gas and managed to avoid becoming part of the accident.

Torres was extricated from her car and was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries.

Bridges’ passenger, Cherilyn Lanni, 32, sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Bridges reportedly was uninjured; he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, causing bodily injury, and was released on $75,000 bail.

Tassone noted that he had a prior DUI and would also face an enhancement for the high blood alcohol content.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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