Two fatalities in 48 hours: Second three-car crash claims another life on Highway 49 between Grass Valley and Auburn |

Two fatalities in 48 hours: Second three-car crash claims another life on Highway 49 between Grass Valley and Auburn

A 55-year-old Grass Valley woman was killed on Highway 49 early Friday evening in a three-car crash, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

The CHP has not released the name of the driver, pending notification of next of kin.

The fatal crash was the second in a little more than 48 hours on the stretch of Highway 49 between south Nevada County and North Auburn. Two days ago Tyler William Burk, 21, of Auburn died in a collision near Cramer Road, less than 2 miles north of Friday’s crash.

The woman who died Friday was driving a 1996 black Lexus at a high speed rate when the car’s right rear tire rim began emitting sparks moments before the crash, the CHP reported. As the driver of the Lexus approached Joeger Road, the car swerved into northbound lanes striking the front of a Hyundai Sonata, driven by 39-year-old Shannon Jordan of Grass Valley, the report states. That collision caused the Lexus to rotate clockwise into northbound traffic, where a third vehicle — a Toyota 4Runner driven by Michelle Tompkins, 31, of Grass Valley — struck the left side of the car.

The driver of the Lexus was ejected from the vehicle.

Jordan was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with “major” injuries, according to Auburn CHP Sgt. Chris Joller. Joller said Sunday he did not know the full extent of her injuries, or her condition. Tompkins, the driver of the Toyota 4Runner, did not sustain any injuries, according to the report.

Highway 49’s northbound lanes were closed for about three hours at the scene of the collision for investigative purposes Friday. Officers are still investigating what led to the crash and what followed based on physical evidence and statements from witnesses, said Joller.

According to the report, is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs was a factor in this collision and will be determined at a later date through a toxicology report from the Placer County Coroner’s Office.

“It’s concerning for us when there are collisions this serious,” he said. “We want people to always be careful. Be careful in the rain.”


Wednesday’s fatal crash, also included a head-on collision and high speed, the CHP reported.

Burk was driving a Volkswagen sedan was reported by witnesses to be driving at least 80 mph and swerving on Highway 49 before he crashed head-on into a truck, leading to his death and causing a chain reaction that injured another driver Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Burk’s car struck a Ford F-150 truck head-on, then swerved sideways into the southbound lane and was broadsided by an Acura RDX driven by Richard Leader, 74, of Auburn, the CHP reported.

Burk was killed on impact, Martinez said. Leader was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with major injuries, while the driver of the truck was not injured.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email or call 530-477-4219.

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