Car plows into chain control area |

Car plows into chain control area

Emma Garrard and Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunHigh Sierra Towing removes a Ford Explorer, one of four-vehicles in an accident involving a pedestrian on westbound Interstate 80 Tuesday morning. Two people were injured in the accident in a chain control area near the Hirschdale exit.

A rash of injury vehicle accidents occurred Tuesday, as the latest winter storm created treacherous driving conditions throughout the Truckee-area.

In one incident Tuesday morning, a four-vehicle accident in a chain control area on westbound Interstate 80 near the Hirschdale exit injured two people, including one chain installer.

In another incident, two passengers were injured when their car plunged off the eastbound interstate highway near Donner Summit and struck a tree, preventing the car from falling down a 300-foot slope.

And in another sign of the slippery conditions, a Truckee fire truck collided with a passenger vehicle on Glenshire Drive, causing minor injuries.

At 10 minutes before 10 a.m., a red Ford Explorer on westbound I-80 approached the chain-control area near Hirschdale. As the driver slowed, he apparently lost control, hitting a silver sedan already having chains installed.

Both cars then struck two parked pickup trucks belonging to chain installer Brian Dalbol, who was also hit as he stood next to his truck.

“It caused a chain reaction,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Dan Furtado.

The injured woman driving the silver sedan was transported by ambulance to Tahoe Forest Hospital, while paramedics with the Truckee Fire Protection District treated Dalbol.

“We dove out of the way into the snow,” said Clay Miller, a chain installer, adding that he estimated the driver was going at least 60 mph.

Dalbol’s father, Edward Dalbol, witnessed the accident as he was installing chains nearby. Chain installer Mike Gebhardt was also a witness.

“[Edward Dalbol] was chaining a car and then all of a sudden [the car] wasn’t there,” Gebhardt said. “And then his truck got hit.”

“I was chaining that silver car and [the Explorer] came flying and hit my son’s truck,” Edward Dalbol said. “The car just disappeared.”

In the 10 years he’s worked as a chain installer, Edward Dalbol said he has never seen anything like the accident Tuesday.

“I’ve seen spinouts but this is the first time this has ever happened to me,” Edward Dalbol said. “I’m just shook up. It’s a miracle no one got killed.”

Edward Dalbol said it is common to see vehicles drive too fast on the Hirschdale section of I-80.

“It’s a bad spot. They come around the corner too fast,” Edward Dalbol said. “People need to slow down.”

Furtado said the cause of the accident is not yet determined. No road closures occurred because of the accident.

At 8:25 a.m., the CHP responded to a solo-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 east of the Donner Summit rest area. According to CHP Officer Steve Skeen, the vehicle lost control around a left-hand curve, crossed a snow berm on the right shoulder before crashing into a tree.

Skeen said the tree prevented the Rocklin residents’ car from plunging more than 300 feet down the side of the highway. Two of the four passengers sustained minor injuries and were transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital.

At approximately 11:15 a.m., Truckee Police responded to reports of an injury collision involving a fire engine and another vehicle on Glenshire Drive, officials said in a department news release.

A preliminary investigation revealed that an engine from the Truckee Fire Protection District was in route ” with lights and sirens activated ” to a structure fire in a Glenshire neighborhood, Lt. Randy Fenn stated in the release.

While driving on Glenshire Drive east of Highland Avenue, the fire engine collided with another vehicle, and one firefighter and a passenger from the other vehicle were transported by ambulance to Tahoe Forest Hospital for minor injuries, Lt. Fenn said.

Following the collision, authorities closed Glenshire Drive between Highland and Berkshire Circle for almost two hours to facilitate an investigation.

“According to our driver, the other vehicle crossed into his lane,” said information officer Gene Welch of the Truckee Fire Protection District.

However, Truckee Police said they are still investigation the cause of the collision.

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