A Redding woman and three young children were rescued from a burning vehicle Tuesday morning following a collision on Highway 70 north of Marysville.
The crash occurred abut 9:35 a.m. north of Magnolia Road. According to the California Highway Patrol, Jose Maciel, 31, of Yuba City was driving a 1995 Freightliner with two flatbed trailers hauling fruit from orchards to a dryer in north Yuba County. Maciel was southbound on Highway 70, when he activated his turn signal, slowed and prepared for a left turn into a driveway to an orchard. A 2009 Ford F150, driven by 28-year-old Nicole Billmeyer of Redding, was overtaking Maciel’s vehicle and began to pass as the Freightliner was turning across the northbound lane into the driveway, according to a CHP news release.
The Ford truck struck the left front corner of the Freightliner. The collision caused the Ford to overturn and travel off the east roadway shoulder, striking a PG&E pole and causing power lines to fall to the ground. The Ford then caught fire, with three children – ages 5, 4 and 3 – in child seats and the driver inside.
The CHP reported that Maciel removed the three children and driver from the burning vehicle and moved them to an orchard, away from the fire and the downed power lines. Billmeyer and the children suffered minor injuries and were taken to Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville for treatment. Maciel was not injured.
Highway 70 was closed for about six hours for cleanup and repairs by the state Department of Transportation and Pacific Gas and Electric
CHP officials credited the use of child safety seats and seat belts with saving lives in the collision.
They also remind motorists traveling in Yuba and Sutter counties to be alert to increased truck traffic on the roadway during the harvest season.