DUI arrest in wreck that injured 2 children | TheUnion.com

DUI arrest in wreck that injured 2 children

A Penn Valley man was arrested on drunken driving and child endangerment charges in connection with an accident that injured two young children Saturday.

Robert Michael Sponder, 48, was driving a Toyota Corolla southbound on Rough and Ready Highway on a winding portion north of Valley Drive at about 11:50 a.m., when he failed to negotiate a curve, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Tassone.

The Corolla’s right side tires left the road and went onto the dirt shoulder, and Sponder then responded too aggressively, losing control, Tassone said.

The Toyota crossed the road and hit the hillside embankment on the east edge before traveling back across both lanes and off the west edge of the road, where it went down the hill and crashed into a tree.

A 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy in the car “sustained visible injuries,” Tassone said. Both were taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

Sponder was uninjured and was determined to be “significantly” under the influence of alcohol, Tassone said. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and child endangerment, and was being held in lieu of $85,000 bail.

One lane of the road was blocked for about a hour, Tassone said.

Suspect in collision that killed other driver succumbs to injuries

A Grass Valley man suspected of causing a fatal collision Thursday has died.

Alford Presser, 90, was driving a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis northbound on Highway 49 at about 2:15 p.m., with witnesses describing his vehicle as being all over the road.

As Presser approached the traffic light at Combie Road, at which there was a lot of traffic, he reportedly began passing the stopped vehicles by driving into the southbound lanes.

Presser then reportedly sideswiped a 2014 Dodge Ram being driven by Adam Thevenin, 48, of Grass Valley; Thevenin was uninjured, according to the CHP report.

As Presser entered the intersection, he collided with the front driver side of a 1988 Dodge Ram that was beginning to turn left onto the highway.

The driver, identified as Michael Kaspar, 57, of Auburn, died at the scene. His son, Michael John Kaspar, 27, was flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, and was treated and released, according to a hospital spokesman.

Presser also was flown to Roseville. On Friday, he was in critical condition, but was reported to have died as of Monday morning.

Autopsies on both men were being conducted and both vehicles were being inspected, Tassone said.

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

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