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Victims of crash critical

John HartA small car with four young men in it wrapped around a tree about 20 miles north of Nevada City on Highway 20 Tuesday afternoon. One man died, and three were injured.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

He played rock guitar, washed dishes at a Nevada City restaurant, and was a giving friend.

But while returning from Donner Ski Ranch Tuesday, Brandin Klundt died after his car crashed into a tree on Highway 20 near Bear Valley.

The 20-year-old Rough and Ready man’s three passengers survived, but two remained in critical condition Wednesday at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.



Sean Sanford, 20, of Grass Valley was critical with severe head injuries, and 26-year-old Samuel Miller, hometown unknown, was critical with a severe groin laceration, according to information from the California Highway Patrol and a hospital spokeswoman.

Ed Wessinger, 20, of Grass Valley, was recovering from surgery to repair his broken left thigh bone.




Klundt, Wessinger said, “was a wonderful, free-spirited guy. He was a beautiful, shining human being. I loved that guy.”

“He’s the most sweet, giving, creative, wonderful, amazingly talented person in the whole world,” said another friend, Jaime Lefcovich.

She said Klundt performed his first solo concert at Magic Theater in Nevada City a couple of weeks ago and was working on a recording.

Klundt lived with his parents, washed dishes at the New Moon Cafe in Nevada City, and played guitar to his own songs and the music of various rock bands.

He was due to work at the cafe Tuesday night, Wessinger said.

As for Sanford and Miller, he said, “They’re both going to recover. It was touch-and-go for awhile.”

Klundt lost control of his Toyota station wagon heading into a curve while traveling westbound, approaching Lowell Hill Road – about 20 miles east of Nevada City. The car rolled onto the gravel shoulder, and Klundt over-corrected his steering, according to the CHP.

“We just started swerving,” said Wessinger, who didn’t have an explanation for the sudden wipeout.

The car skidded sideways and wrapped around a pine tree, crushing the driver’s door.

“I woke up with a tree in my lap,” said Wessinger, who was seated behind Klundt.

Three helicopters flew the survivors to Sutter Roseville.

The CHP is still investigating the crash.


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