Crime - Sacto 911

Penn Valley man dies when van crashes down embankment

A 27-year-old Penn Valley man died Monday night after his van went down an embankment and struck a tree north of Nevada City.

The crash occurred on Lake Vera Purdon Road north of B4 Ranch Road. Joshua Shultz was driving a 1986 Dodge van when he apparently allowed it to drift to the right and off the roadway, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The van traveled down a steep embankment where it struck a tree. CHP officials said the time of the crash has not been determined.

Although Shultz was wearing a seatbelt, the van sustained significant damage and Shultz suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene by fire department personnel. CHP officials said it is not known whether alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Several agencies responded to provide assistance, which included rappelling down a steep cliff to access a portion of the crash scene and the vehicle, officials said. Involved along with the CHP were the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, the North San Juan Volunteer Fire Department, CalFire and the Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy