Rainy wreck kills man at Penn Valley | TheUnion.com

Rainy wreck kills man at Penn Valley

Rain may have been a factor in a crash that killed a Grass Valley-area man and injured three Smartville residents Saturday afternoon on Highway 20 east of Penn Valley, the California Highway Patrol reported Sunday.

Jason R. Phillipson, 29, was eastbound on Highway 20 approximately one mile east of the intersection with Rough and Ready Highway, the CHP said, when his 1980 Volkswagen spun clockwise and slammed into a 1997 Ford pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction.

Firefighters said Phillipson died at the scene.

The crash, reported at 4:20 p.m., occurred during heavy rains that cut visibility to less than 150 feet, the CHP said.

Phillipson was believed to be driving at least 65 miles per hour, the speed limit on that stretch of road, which CHP Sgt. Jerry Morgan said was too fast in heavy rains with reduced visibility. “People need to slow down,” he said.

The three occupants in the 1997 Ford pickup – Linda Olson, 49, and daughters Jesse, 13, and Skye Olson, 11, all of Smartville, were transported to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released.

The truck was traveling at a speed of 40 to 45 miles per hour, the CHP said. The accident remains under investigation.

“We’re pretty lucky, I think,” said Linda Olson, who was on her way home from a Christmas party at the time. “It happened so fast. I’m sorry about the other person.”

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