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Officials Say 2 Dead, 4 Sick From Wild Mushrooms

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LOOMIS, Ca. (CBS Sacramento) — Two people are dead and four others hospitalized after eating soup made with wild mushrooms at a Placer County assisted living center, and investigators said it was an employee who made them the meal.

The deceased victims, identified by authorities as 86-year-old Barbara Lopes and 73-year-old Teresa Olesniewicz, were residents of the Gold Age Villa Elder Care Facility located on 8100 Horseshoe Bar Road in Loomis.

Larry Newby has lived next to the facility for years.

“We heard the ambulance come up yesterday, we saw both come up and we didn’t know what was going on,” he told CBS 13.

Now the facility is under investigation after authorities said one of the caregivers there fed soup made with wild mushrooms to the residents. The poisonous meal killed the two women and sent four to the hospital, including the caregiver.

Newby said it’s common for wild mushrooms to grow in the area, but said most people are aware that some could be deadly.

“My wife just picked some up two days ago,” he said.

Investigators said the incident appears to be an accident.

“It’s tragic, but you gotta know what you’re eating. You can’t just pick something up out of the yard and eat it,” said Newby.

The incident is still under investigation by the California Department of Social Services, the agency that licenses senior care facilities.

The conditions of the four people hospitalized were not immediately known, and their names have not been released.

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