A Grass Valley man was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon when his vehicle was involved in a three-car collision in heavy commute-hour traffic.
The collision occurred about 5:10 p.m. on southbound Highway 49, south of McKnight Way in Grass Valley. Heavy traffic was causing slowdowns and backups in the area, especially where two lanes of the freeway merge into a single traffic lane, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.
James Thompson, 69, of Grass Valley was driving a 2012 Lexus southbound on Highway 49, traveling approximately 50 mph and apparently failed to notice traffic slowing and stopping ahead of him, according to the CHP. He struck a stopped 2006 Mazda sedan driven by 23-year-old Dominick Terronez of Grass Valley, propelling the Mazda forward at high speed into a 2017 Subaru driven by Gerret George, 35, of Nevada City. The Mazda then overturned in the roadway, blocking southbound Highway 49.
Terronez suffered major injuries, according to the CHP, and was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Thompson sustained what the CHP described as moderate injuries and was transported to Sierra Nevada Hospital in Grass Valley.
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George had minor injuries and was not transported to a hospital, according to the CHP.
The highway was blocked for approximately 45 minutes, until the vehicles and debris could be removed from the roadway. The CHP reported that several non-injury collisions occurred in the congested area following the injury collision.