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Three men suffer minor injuries after CHP car collides with garbage truck

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer
Updated 12/9/2011

A collision between a California Highway Patrol car and a garbage truck sent three men to the hospital with minor injuries Thursday, Dec. 8.

All three were checked out at Eastern Plumas Health Care and released following the 10 a.m. crash on Highway 70 near Beckwourth.

The accident was still under investigation as of Friday, Dec. 9, when the CHP allowed a Feather Publishing reporter to view the in-car video showing the moments leading up to the collision.

According to the CHP report, an InterMountain Disposal (IMD) truck, driven by Travis Schiavone, of Portola, was attempting to cross Highway 70 from North Industrial Way.

After stopping to let traffic clear, Schiavone attempted to cross the highway. He told the CHP that he didn’t see Officer Matt McCurley’s eastbound patrol car.

McCurley, who was the fourth in a line of vehicles, appeared to be traveling near the posted speed limit of 65 miles an hour prior to the collision. The video indicated the patrol car was about 100 to 150 feet behind the car in front of it.

McCurley reportedly told an investigator that he was “looking away” just prior to the crash. There were no skid marks from the patrol car before it hit the right rear of the trash truck.

The impact smashed the front of the 2009 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car and caused the garbage truck to lean to the left, lifting its right wheels off the ground.

The truck traveled southbound through the intersection about 60 feet before it overturned on its left side.

According to CHP spokesman James Stowe, Schiavone said he didn’t realize there had been a collision and wondered why the truck was leaning.

McCurley, Schiavone and a passenger in the IMD truck, Levi Scott, were transported to the hospital for evaluation and released the same day.

McCurley sustained minor back injuries. Schiavone had neck pain, and Scott had minor knee pain.

“We are just glad everyone is OK,” said IMD spokeswoman Tanya Ross-Ward. “That is our main concern. It was pretty scary.”

Ross-Ward said IMD mechanics were trying to determine the extent of damage to the truck. Stowe said the patrol car was totaled.

No citations were issued at the scene, but Stowe said the IMD truck “clearly made an inappropriate crossing of the highway.”

He said video from the camera inside the patrol car was being evaluated.

Stowe added that the investigation includes statements from the driver of the vehicle that was directly in front of the patrol car going the same direction. He said the driver of a car traveling the opposite direction also witnessed the crash.


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