Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Wreck snarls bridge traffic

September 25, 2007

A four-car collision injured one man and stopped eastbound traffic on the 10th Street bridge during rush hour on Monday.

The collision happened around 5:15 p.m. and closed traffic while the cars involved were moved down to I Street to get statements. An unidentified male passenger was taken from the scene in an ambulance.

A blue Jeep was at the front of the chain-reaction wreck and suffered minimal damage. A green Ford pickup followed with a silver Toyota Tacoma. Both had badly bent front and back ends. A green Pontiac Grand Prix was the last one hit and suffered severe front-end damage.

Dennis Socha, 42 of Marysville was in his Jeep when, he said, traffic was stopped in front of him and he hit his brakes. Just as the truck behind hit him, Socha said he let off his brakes, and there was barely a mark on his car, though he complained of neck and back pain from the impact.

“I don’t remember what happened, it all happened so fast,” Socha said. “Everyone just stopped all of a sudden on the bridge.”

Albert Salas, 66, of Marysville was riding with his two chihuahuas when his Ford pickup hit the back of Socha’s Jeep and was then hit by the Toyota behind him. All three inside the Ford were able to walk away from the crash.

Brent Fetty, 38, of Santa Cruz was on his way to see his father in the hostpital when his Tacoma hit the back of Salas’ truck. Shortly after, the next car hit.

“It was so quick, I had no chance of stopping,” Fetty said. “I just watched that girl behind me in my mirror come up and hit me.”

Mayra Heredia, 18, of Wheatland, drove the last car in the collision. Her Pontiac hit the back of Fetty’s Tacoma and set off her air bags.

The passenger side air bag panel smashed half of the windshield outward. A passenger in her car, whose name was not available, was taken away by ambulance with minor injuries.

The accident is still under investigation, but Jenn Inc. accident investigator Eric Quintana said it looked like speed was a factor.

“Most of the time on a bridge, it’s speed and following too close,” Quintana said.

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