Deer goes airborne in Highway 20 crash that injures 2 |

Deer goes airborne in Highway 20 crash that injures 2

A chain reaction collision Wednesday night involving a deer sent two people to regional hospitals, and killed the deer.

At approximately 8:25 p.m., Laura Rice, 49, of Penn Valley, was driving a Toyota Corolla eastbound on Highway 20 east of Penn Valley Drive in the No. 1 lane at a stated speed of 60-65 mph, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Tassone.

Eric Moffatt, 52, of Smartsville, was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, traveling westbound on Highway 20 at an unknown speed, approaching Rice in the opposite direction.

A feral deer entered the eastbound lanes of the highway, directly into the path of the Toyota. The Toyota collided with the deer, which became airborne into the westbound lanes of the highway.

The deer slid across the lane, and in one motion regained footing and jumped back in a southerly direction into the westbound lane, directly into the path of the motorcycle.

The motorcycle subsequently collided with the deer, overturned onto its left and side-ejected both Moffatt and his passenger, Christine Rutherford, to the roadway. The motorcycle then went off of the south road edge.

Moffatt and Rutherford came to rest on the roadway and were then able to move themselves to the right shoulder.

Rice was uninjured, Tassone said, Moffatt was transported via air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with major injuries and currently is listed in fair condition.

Rutherford was transported by ground ambulance to Rideout Medical Center with major injuries; her condition was not available as of press time.

The deer was located dead on the shoulder of the road, Tassone said.

The roadway was closed in both directions for a short time until one-way traffic control was established by CHP personnel. Alcohol and or drugs (were) not a factor in this collision, Tassone said.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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