Saturday, March 6, 2021


Two Injured in Highway 20 Construction Zone Crash

The California Highway Patrol is investigating what may have caused a 67-year-old Colusa Man to slam into a line of vehicles stopped for construction on Highway 20 at the long bridge, Wednesday afternoon, injuring at least one other person.

The collision occurred about 6:15 p.m. near Lone Star Road, just west of the City of Colusa, the highway patrol reports.

A 1995 Saturn sedan driven by Roberto Ortiz, was traveling eastbound on Highway 20 when he failed to notice the traffic in front of him had come to a stop due to road construction. His vehcile collided with the rear end of a Dodge Caravan driven by Frank Collette, 51 of Granite Bay, California.

The rear impact of Collette’s van caused his vehicle to be pushed forward into the rear end of a 2012 Lexus driven by Michelle Etchepare, 46 of Colusa.

Both Ortiz and Collette sustained minor complaint of pain injuries to their backs.

Ortiz was transported to CRMC and Collette was transported by Reach Air Ambulance to Enloe Hospital in Chico for treatment of their injuries.

The Collision is still under investigation at this time by the Williams Area CHP. Drugs or Alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this collision.

The California Highway Patrol advises when stopped at a construction zone, leave a cushion between you and the car in front of you.

“Leave enough space between vehicles to where you can see their rear tires or the pavement,” suggested Officer Kristen Murphy of the California Highway Patrol, “this will reduce your risk of colliding with the vehicle in front of you, in the event you are hit from the rear.”

Other tips include:

  • Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers; drive with caution.
  • Don’t change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights, and or flashers so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be Patient!

“Remember all traffic fines are doubled in highway work zones,” said Murphy.

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