Attempt to avoid deer leaves Grass Valley man dead |

Attempt to avoid deer leaves Grass Valley man dead

A head-on collision, sparked by vehicles trying to avoid a group of deer on Highway 49, claimed the life of a Grass Valley man early Saturday.

The California Highway Patrol Sunday had not released the name of the 60-year-old victim by Sunday evening because it was not clear if his family had been notified.

The crash occurred at about 7:15 a.m. on Highway 49, near Round Valley Road. A 1983 Ford pickup, driven by 73-year-old Oroville resident Paul Schmoyer, was traveling south.

A 2003 Ford pickup, driven by 58-year-old Grass Valley resident David Fleuti, was heading north. The victim who died was a passenger in Flueti’s truck.

After a group of deer ran across the highway, traffic came to a sudden stop, according to the highway patrol. Schmoyer pressed down his brakes and swerved left across the double-yellow line into the path of Fleuti’s truck. Fleuti also slammed on his brakes and swerved right, but he could not avoid the collision.

Schmoyer’s truck came to rest on its wheels and down an embankment. He was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries and released, according to the highway patrol.

Fleuti’s truck flipped and landed on its roof in an embankment. Fleuti was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial with minor injuries. The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.

The highway patrol has ruled out alcohol or drugs as factors in the crash. Both drivers were going the speed limit, and all three victims were wearing seat belts, according to CHP reports.

The northbound slow lane was closed for three hours, but because traffic was light, there was little delay for passing motorists.

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