Interstate accident injures 7 |

Interstate accident injures 7

A series of wet-weather accidents on Interstate 80 near Hirschdale culminated Thursday afternoon when a Veterans Administration sport utility vehicle rolled over, injuring most of the car’s eight occupants.

The driver of the 2002 Ford Excursion was transporting outpatients home to the Auburn area from a visit to Washoe Medical Center in Reno, said Kirk Bromell, California Highway Patrol public information officer.

The driver, Mark K. Hanson, 58 of Auburn, was traveling westbound on Interstate 80, 1.8 miles west of Floriston, at approximately 60 mph, according to CHP reports. He attempted to change lanes from left to right, when he lost control of the vehicle.

Hanson attempted to correct, but the vehicle struck a dirt and rock embankment, according to CHP reports. The vehicle overturned and came to rest on its left side.

After the accident, five of the passengers were able to exit the vehicle and three were trapped inside. One passenger was removed from the vehicle and transported by ambulance to Tahoe Forest Hospital.

The two remaining occupants ” ages 80 and 55 ” were extricated by Truckee Fire Protection District personnel and were transported by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center with major injuries, according to the CHP. Their names are not being released by the CHP and their conditions are unknown at this time.

A handful of accidents on the stretch of Interstate 80 near the state line this week serves as a reminder to slow down while its raining on the roads, Bromell said.

“It was just wet,” he said. “You always have to be concerned about the slickness of the roadway … It’s one of those things people should know. They ought to slow down when it’s raining like that.”

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