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Flagger still recovering from July injuries

Case against driver proceeding

Work continues on the highway reconstruction and pavement project through Chilcoot, with completion targeted for the end of November, perhaps prior to Thanksgiving.

But as the work winds down, we remember that in early July a flagger was seriously injured when a vehicle failed to stop in the construction zone.

Flagger Adrian Hill was injured July 8. Steve Forde, vice president of T&S DVBE, the company that employed Hill, said at the time that she is “expected to make a recovery.” Forde described her on July 11 as “alive and well,” though she was scheduled to undergo surgery that day to repair broken bones suffered in the incident.

When contacted last week for an update on her condition, Forde said that he could only confirm that she “is alive and well and we hope for a speedy recovery.” Forde said he could not provide any further details about her condition.

Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister also addressed the injuries to Hill as he updated this newspaper on the progress of the case against the man charged with causing the incident.

“The injuries to the flagger were exceptionally serious and we are grateful she is making steady progress in her recovery,” Hollister said. “Cases this serious often take some time to work their way through the criminal justice system.”

He charged Eugene Curtis Hill IV, age 33 of Loyalton, with felony DUI causing injury and two enhancements for causing great bodily injury. Hill has entered a no contest plea.

The issue will be in court Dec. 6 for pretrial conference.

The incident

According to the California Highway Patrol, at approximately 7:50 p.m., on Monday, July 8, Eugene Hill was driving his white 2001 Toyota Tundra westbound on SR-70 east of SR 284 and approaching the rear of a silver 2018 Nissan Rogue being driven by Jessica Churchville.

Churchville entered an active construction zone lined with several orange cones and began to slow for a construction flagger, Adrian Hill, who was displaying a hand-held stop sign.

As Churchville began to bring her vehicle to a stop, Eugene Hill continued to approach the rear of the Nissan Rogue at a high rate of speed.

Flagger Adrian Hill observed the white Toyota Tundra approaching at a high rate of speed and began to run south across SR-70 traffic lanes. Eugene Hill was unable to stop his vehicle in time and the front of the Tundra collided with the rear of the Nissan Rogue.

The violent impact caused the Nissan to veer to the left across the westbound lane and into the eastbound lane where the front of the vehicle struck Adrian Hill. Hill became airborne and landed in a dirt ditch south of the south shoulder of SR-70.

The Nissan continued in a southerly direction and came to rest in a ditch south of the south shoulder of SR-70. The Tundra overturned within the westbound lane where it came to rest on its left side.

Hill was airlifted to the hospital and sustained major injuries as a result of the collision. Churchville was taken by ground ambulance to the hospital with moderate to major injuries.

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