Crime - Sacto 911

Two from Santa Cruz County die in Sierra I-80 crash onto rail tracks

A man and a woman from Santa Cruz County died when the sport-utility vehicle in which they were riding veered off Interstate 80 and landed on railroad tracks below an elevated portion of the freeway in the Sierra Nevada.

The California Highway Patrol reported that about 6 p.m. Tuesday, a man was driving westbound on I-80 in the left lane near Crystal Springs Road about 65 mph. For an unknown reason, his SUV traveled across the westbound right-hand lane and off the pavement.

His vehicle then hit a guardrail and came to rest on its roof on railroad tracks below the freeway. Passengers in the right front seat and the right rear seat suffered fatal injuries.

The two who died were identified as Jeremy J. Robert Hills, 24, of Santa Cruz and Kaitlin Ranae Bowker, 20, of Brookdale, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver, who suffered major injuries, was taken to a Roseville hospital.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews