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A solo vehicle accident on Westbound I-80 just east of the Ophir Road off ramp, claimed the life of two female occupants and sent a third one by ambulance to Sutter Roseville with minor injuries on Thursday afternoon. The call came in to California Highway Patrol just after 12:00 p.m. Auburn Fire, Penryn Fire, Auburn PD, and Placer County Sheriff’s Office, were quick to the scene also.
Witnesses say that the 2006 Nissan Altima was driving 65 mph in the #1 lane when it, for unknown reasons, swerved into the median and then shot across all four lanes into a rock wall embankment, rolled end over end, and eventually ended up in the slow lane.
The three women involved in the wreck were estimated to be in their mid 20’s by CHP Officer Kevin Jeffcoach. The driver and the left rear passenger were both pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. Surviving the crash is 24-year-old Robnisha Briggs of Sacramento. According to CHP, all three occupants appeared to be wearing their seatbelts. Officer Jeffcoach also said that the Jaws of life were used to cut the vehicles top off in order to extricate all the victims.
Today’s accident caused miles of back up traffic for several hours both westbound and eastbound directions of the freeway and also throughout Old Town and Downtown Auburn on the surface streets while first responders worked the scene. Auburn Public Works and Auburn PD directed traffic around the area, and diverted traffic away while the Nevada Street onramp was closed.
The car was towed for investigation to determine if there may have been any mechanical issues contributing to the accident. CHP will also be continuing their investigation with an interview of the surviving victim to help determine the cause.
Not far from today’s accident, in March of 2012, a tow truck driver, David Garfield Robinson, Jr., 30, of Citrus Heights, died after a hit-and-run accident. Investigators said Christopher Michael Keller, 25, of Newcastle, was eventually arrested in connection with the case.
After the scene was cleared, all lanes of the freeway opened again around 2:30 p.m.
At this time, it is unknown if drugs and or alcohol played a part in the accident and will be determined later through a toxicology report from the Placer County Coroner’s Office.