Drivers challenged by rain-wet streets |

Drivers challenged by rain-wet streets

A 58-year-old woman is hospitalized with a broken arm after she crashed into a guardrail on Highway 49 Thursday, one of several accidents caused by slick roads during heavy rainfall.

Connie Jones of Alta was reportedly driving too fast for rainy conditions, said CHP Officer Earl Cummins, when she lost control of her 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the eastbound fast lane of the highway near the South Auburn Street undercross at about 12:20 p.m. Thursday.

“She lost control, swerved across the slow lane and across the shoulder and hit a guardrail,” Cummins said.

An 18-feet section of the guardrail plummeted over an embankment and onto the tailgate of a Chevrolet pickup driving on Hansen Lane, which was located under the guardrail.

“The woman who was driving the truck was really lucky,” Cummins said. “If she had been driving any slower, the guardrail would have gone through her windshield.”

“Chunks of concrete fell onto the park and ride on Hansen Way and damaged two more parked vehicles,” Cummins said.

Concrete shattered the back windshield of one car, and another car sustained moderate damage, he said.

A man who had been driving a GMC Yukon in the slow lane behind Jones sustained minor front-end damage to his vehicle, Cummins said.

“Thank God no one got killed,” he said.

Jones was taken by ambulance to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for a compound fracture in her lower right arm.

A white and yellow Ford Bronco was also stuck on the guardrail of the northbound lane of the Golden Center Freeway in Grass Valley minutes later, blocking traffic and slowing travel to nearly a standstill.

The truck hit the rail at about at 12:53 p.m. A wheel came off, landing in the area of the Holiday Inn, which is under construction. Cummins said the woman driving the Bronco was not injured and her vehicle was towed.

At 1:53 p.m., a caller reported a noninjury accident on the 900 block of La Barr Meadows Road between a gray Honda and a Ford Focus. No more information about the accident was available.

Cummins said CHP officers responded to a total of six accident on local highways and county roads Thursday afternoon due to people driving too fast in rainy conditions.

“People need to remember to drive slower in the rain, wear their seat belts and turn on their headlights,” he said.

He said most of the accidents were noninjury, although a few victims complained of minor pain.


To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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