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‘Suicide attempt’ leads to Highway 20 wreck

The driver of a Kia sedan headed westbound on Highway 20 Wednesday morning crashed head-on into a logging truck in an attempt to kill themselves, authorities said.

The wreck, just west of Pleasant Valley Road, happened around 9:50 a.m. after the Kia’s driver intentionally crossed the boundary on the two-lane highway, said Officer Jason Bice of the California Highway Patrol.

“The solo-vehicle occupant stated this was a suicide attempt,” said Andrew Trygg, the pubic information officer for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

As of 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bice said the Kia driver was alive, but had sustained major injuries and was immediately transferred to a regional hospital for evaluation.

The driver of the logging truck was OK, Bice reported.

Bice said there was no fire, though a Hazmat team was called to clean up oil and diesel fuel.

The crash snarled traffic for hours, though it had returned to normal by 2:30 p.m.

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office will take over the primary investigation due to the intentional nature of the act, Bice said.

“When it’s an intentional act like that, it’s their responsibility to investigate,” Bice said, “but we’ll be doing additional reporting even though its not an accident per se.”

The Nevada County Crisis Line is 530-265-5811 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The county’s website recommends witnesses call 911 if a suicide attempt is underway.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com.

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