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Crash victims remain hospitalized; 1 critical

Roman Gokhman

Two crash survivors who were taken to a Roseville hospital after a head-on collision on Highway 49 last Friday were still in the hospital Wednesday; one of them in critical condition.

James Uhl of Penn Valley was in stable condition at Sutter Roseville Medical Center after his truck, hauling a pontoon boat, was struck by an errant tire on the freeway.

When Uhl lost control of his truck, it collided with a Mercedes coupe driven by Josephine Farrugia, who was in critical condition Wednesday.

Uhl was driving a Ford F-350 pickup north on Highway 49 and was towing a 21-foot pontoon boat Friday at 12:20 p.m. when a tire fell off a southbound Dodge Ram near Christian Life Way and hit the pickup.

The driver of the Dodge, 42-year-old Jerome Myers, of Grass Valley, was not hurt.

The tire became lodged underneath Uhl’s truck and lifted it off the ground, according to the California Highway Patrol. Uhl swerved across the center line and ran into the Mercedes, driven by Farrugia. The collision pushed the Mercedes into an embankment and flipped the boat trailer and truck on top of the coupe.

According to the highway patrol and family members, Uhl suffered serious back injuries. His passenger, Michael Reible, 58, of San Gabriel, was driven to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital with head injuries and was released on Aug. 15.

Firefighters spent one hour cutting Farrugia, 67, from her car. According to CHP, she suffered injuries to her neck, rib, hip, and ankle.

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