Murder charge in crash
A Grass Valley man with a history of drug use and arrests will face a murder charge after carjacking a commercial truck Tuesday evening and crashing it into a UPS van, instantly killing the other driver.
Scott Krause, 37, was expected to be transported from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital to Wayne Brown Correctional Facility Wednesday night. Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said Krause will also face charges of home invasion, carjacking, residential burglary, auto theft and battery stemming from several crimes he reportedly committed Tuesday.
Krause allegedly stole a truck belonging to Sierra Tile and Stone while its female driver was still inside. The business owner said Krause forced the driver out and sped onto Highway 49.
Krause took the Brunswick Road exit, swerved around other cars and crashed into the UPS truck, driven by 34-year-old Drew Reynolds, according to a witness.
Police reports indicate Krause’s string of criminal acts began early Tuesday, when his girlfriend kicked him out of the home they were sharing in the 400 block of Bennett Street and he went to his former wife’s Grass Valley home shortly after midnight.
Tracie Krause said she had seen little of her ex-husband in the past year and was shocked to find him on her doorstep.
“He was totally strung out and paranoid, talking about how people were going to kill him,” she said.
Tracie Krause said her ex-husband told her he had not slept in five days and wanted to stay there.
Scared of his behavior, she called a friend in Sacramento. When she got off the phone, she said, her friend called police.
Officers spoke with Tracie and Scott Krause separately, then made him pour out an open beer and move on, she said. The police suggested she update her restraining order against him and left shortly after, Tracie Krause said.
“This whole thing could have been prevented if they arrested him like they should have done,” she said.
Grass Valley police stood behind their response to the initial call.
“They didn’t have anything to arrest him for,” Chief Foster said.
About 16 hours later, the department began to receive additional calls about Scott Krause’s behavior.
At 5:07 p.m., a neighbor of Krause and his girlfriend reported a domestic dispute at the residence and hearing glass break.
Ten minutes later, an 81-year-old woman on the 500 block of Maryland Drive reported a man, later identified as Krause, had broken into her home and was demanding the keys to her vehicle. She screamed, and he ran out of the house, she told police.
Another 10 minutes later, Sierra Tile and Stone truck driver Tina Harrison was sitting in the cab of her truck at a gas station near 49er Family Fun Park in the 300 block of Railroad Avenue when a man climbed up to her passenger-side door.
The grungy-looking man with long scraggly hair came right at her, forcing her out of the cab, Sierra Tile and Stone owner Michael Tigue said.
Michael Power said he was leaving the 49er Family Fun Park with his son when Harrison ran up to him from a nearby gas station and yelled, “A man is stealing my truck!”
As Power looked over, the truck took off with the passenger door open, he said. Power began following the truck onto Highway 49.
“Right at the last minute, he exited at Brunswick,” Power said.
The stolen truck went around cars that were stopped at a red light and continued east on Brunswick.
“Then, everything came to a screeching halt,” Power said.
At about 5:30 p.m., near Town Talk Road, the stolen truck crossed into the opposite lane and slammed into Reynolds’ UPS van.
After the impact, the UPS van veered sharply and hit a utility pole. Crews responding to the accident found Reynolds inside the severely damaged van, which was lying at a 45-degree angle on its side and leaning against a utility pole.
Throughout much of the evening, Brunswick was closed off at Sutton Way. For a few hours immediately after the accident, Idaho Maryland Road also was closed off near Sutton Way.
After the wreck, Krause tried to flee the scene, according to authorities. He was eventually subdued, but while getting treated for his injuries, which included lacerations, he kicked a firefighter several times.
Krause was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, where he was still being treated for injuries Wednesday night.
According to Nevada County court records, Krause recently graduated from the Lovett Recovery Center, for drug abuse treatment. Also according to records, he was on supervised probation after pleading guilty to drug charges and breaking or removing vehicle parts in 2003, and possessing stolen property in 2002.
An investigation is ongoing, and the Grass Valley Police have asked that anyone with information about this crime should contact Detective Joe Matteoni at 477-4600.
Timeline leading to fatal collision:
1. Shortly after midnight Tuesday: Scott Krause arrives at ex-wife’s home on W. Main St. and reportedly harasses her. Police tell him to move on.
2. 5:07 p.m.: Neighbor reports dispute at Krause’s home on Bennett Street. Police find no one there.
3. 5:17 p.m.: Caller on Maryland Drive reports Krause broke into her home and demanded keys to her vehicle.
4. 5:27 p.m.: Caller on Railroad Ave. reports a large truck being stolen from a gas station.
5. 5:29 p.m.: Stolen truck, with Krause allegedly driving, collides with UPS van, killing driver Drew Reynolds.
Brett Nelson of The Union contributed to this story.
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