Three people suffered major injuries when two motor homes collided head-on Tuesday afternoon on Highway 49 near Grass Valley, closing the highway for nearly four hours.
The crash was reported about 1:28 p.m. Raymond Poquette, 77, of Grass Valley was driving a 34-foot Ford Pace Arrow motor home southbound on Highway 49, just south of Wellswood Way near the Golden Chain Motel. Lawrence Kaye, 64, and his passenger, Bonne Kaye, 55, both of Anaheim, were northbound in a Freightliner Thor motor home, towing a Jeep sport-utility vehicle.
As the two vehicles approached each other, Poquette turned his motor home across the center dividing section of the road, into the northbound lane and directly into Kaye’s path, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The two vehicles struck head-on.
The CHP said both motor homes sustained major damage and came to rest in the northbound lane and shoulder. Vehicle parts and debris were spread across Highway 49, closing the highway in both directions.
Bonnie Kaye was flown to Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael by a CHP rescue helicopter, and Lawrence Kaye was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center by a CalStar air ambulance helicopter, according to the CHP.
Poquette, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from his motor home, the CHP reported, and he, too, was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
The Kayes were traveling with two dogs. One remained inside the motor home after the crash and the other escaped through the broken chassis. Both were retrieved and seemed to be in generally good condition, according to the CHP. They were taken to a local veterinary hospital for evaluation and treatment.
The collision remains under investigation. It has not been determined whether alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash, the CHP reported, and no arrests have been made.
The CHP was assisted by the Grass Valley Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Grass Valley Fire Department, Sierra Nevada Ambulance Service, Penn Valley Fire Protection District ambulance, CalStar and the California Department of Transportation.