Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Afternoon crash claims one life, injures several other people

An investigator looks over a white minivan which hit another vehicle head-on, killing one of that second vehicle's passengers, in a collision that took place on Highway 20 on Friday, April 9, 2010, just east of Nice, Calif. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.




NICE – A crash just outside of Nice on Friday afternoon claimed one life and resulted in several other injuries along with a lengthy blockage on Highway 20.

The two-car, head-on collision occurred on a curve just west of Tulip Hill Winery on the eastern outskirts of the town of Nice just after 2:30 p.m.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Moorhouse said a white minivan driven by an as-yet unnamed female driver was traveling westbound along Highway 20 when it collided with the front driver side of a second vehicle that was traveling east.

That second vehicle, which appeared to be a green Jeep Cherokee, had several passengers inside, one of which was killed in the crash, Moorhouse said.

For a reason that Moorhouse said investigators haven't yet determined, the minivan's driver had drifted off the side of the road, where her tire tracks could clearly be seen in the gravel on the shoulder.

She then traveled back onto the highway and collided with the second vehicle, Moorhouse said.

“We're still trying to piece it all together as to why it happened,” Moorhouse said.

A female passenger seated behind the driver of the second vehicle was the fatality, according to Moorhouse.

Sgt. Gary Basor of the Lake County Sheriff's Office was on scene acting as deputy coroner, and was assisted by mortuary technicians in removing the woman's body from the scene.




Firefighters and paramedics struggled to extricate a victim at the scene of a collision just east of the town of Nice, Calif., on Friday, April 9, 2010. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



The victim's identity was not immediately available, which is customary pending the notification process.

The driver of the white minivan did not appear to be under the influence, said Moorhouse. She was uninjured, and had been traveling alone.

He said CHP was continuing to investigate her situation. Another CHP officer took the woman from the scene of the crash in the front passenger seat of his patrol car.

Northshore Fire Protection District firefighters spent about an hour and a half extricating the victims from the wreckage of the second vehicle.

Fire officials at the scene reported two subjects from that vehicle had major injuries and two others were “walking wounded.”

One of the victims was screaming as they tried to pull her out of the vehicle, the top of which firefighters had to slice off in order to get to the injured.

A Northshore Fire ambulance ferried the crash victims to nearby Ceago Vinegarden, which had a field that REACH Air Ambulance was using as a landing zone.

Moorhouse said three victims were transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The remaining crash victims were taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, the CHP reported.

Highway 20 was completely blocked – with traffic stretching at least two miles from the scene – as rescuers and tow companies came and went from the crash site. Accident warning signs were posted to warn drivers about the closure.

The highway remained closed just after 5 p.m. About a half hour later, one-way traffic was opened up, and the roadway was fully reopened at 6 p.m.

CHP reported receiving calls about people parking their vehicles alongside of the road east of the crash scene and leaving them.


Late Friday, the CHP reported that a child riding in the vehicle had been transported to the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland for treatment, and was in critical condition.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .




The tire tracks from a white minivan which is believed to have gone off of Highway 20 near Nice, Calif., on Friday, April 9, 2010, before veering back onto the roadway and hitting another vehicle, killing one of its passengers. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.

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