Crime - Sacto 911

Motorcyclist injured in head-on collision in Nevada County suspected of DUI

A motorcyclist suspected of being under the influence of alcohol was seriously injured Friday afternoon in a head-on collision in Nevada County.

The crash occurred about 2:47 p.m. as 65-year-old William L. Balmain of Grass Valley was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on McCourtney Road, south of Auburn Road. He was heading away from the Grass Valley area and the Nevada County Fairgrounds, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

Joshua T. Valle, 39, of Nevada City was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck northbound on McCourtney Road, with woman passenger. As the pickup approached the motorcycle, Balmain lost control of the motorcycle and crossed the double-yellow lines into the northbound lane, directly into the path of the pickup, according to the CHP. Valle attempted to stop and avoid a collision but was unable to do so.

The motorcycle and the pickup collided head-on and Balmain, who was wearing a helmet, was ejected onto the roadway, sustaining serious injuries. Valle suffered minor injuries and his passenger appeared to be uninjured, the CHP reported.

A CHP officer on patrol in the area was directed to the crash scene and assisted the injured parties until fire department and ambulance personnel arrived.

A preliminary investigation indicated that Balmain was under the influence of alcohol and was traveling at an unsafe speed, according to the CHP. He was arrested at the scene on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI but released to medical personnel for treatment of his injuries. Balmain was taken by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy