Crime - Sacto 911

Passenger dies in head-on collision in Carmichael

A passenger died of injuries suffered in a two-vehicle collision Wednesday afternoon on Walnut Avenue in Carmichael.

The crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. north of Cypress Avenue. Marcus Ashford, 22, was driving a 1998 Dodge Neon southbound on Walnut Avenue in the left lane as Nikolaus Berzins, 34, was driving a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup northbound in the northbound left lane. For some reason, the Neon swerved into the two-way left-turn lane toward the pickup truck, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. Berzins was unable to avoid a collision with the Neon as the Neon entered the northbound left lane, CHP officials said.

The Neon and the pickup collided head-on in the northbound lanes.

A passenger in the front seat of the Neon, a female, was taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center, where she died of her injuries. Her name has not been released. Ashford also was transported to Mercy San Juan Medical Center with moderate injuries.

Berzins sustained minor injuries, but was not taken to a hospital, the CHP reported.

CHP officials said the collision is still under investigation.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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