Man airlifted, Highway 20 closed after three-car collision in Meridian

A 56-year-old Clearlake man was airlifted to a hospital in Roseville after he sustained major injuries in a collision with a tractor-trailer in Meridian on Thursday.

According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol’s Williams Area Office, Ronald Coonrod, of Clearlake, was driving a Chevy Silverado east on Highway 20, west of Central Street in Meridian, when he reached down to retrieve an item. As Coonrod did so, his truck drifted into the westbound lane of traffic, in front of John M. Spoon, 62, of Anderson, who was driving a big rig with an empty trailer. Coonrod was able to partially correct the drift and avoid colliding with the semi-truck head-on, but side swiped the left rear side of the trailer that it was towing, the release said.

Spoon then lost control of the tractor trailer and struck a Ford F150 pickup truck – driven by Michael J. Clark, 27, of Woodland – head-on, sending the Ford out of control before it eventually came to a rest on the south shoulder of Highway 20. Coonrod’s and Spoon’s vehicles came to a stop in the traffic lanes of Highway 20, which caused it to be closed for about two hours so emergency crews could tend to the injured parties, investigate, and clean up.

Coonrod was taken via Cal Star Air Ambulance to Sutter Roseville with major injuries. Clark had what were described as minor injuries, but was not transported to a hospital for care. Spoon was uninjured. The CHP said that all parties were wearing their seatbelt, and that they do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.