GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – Two RVs crashed in a head-on collision in Grass Valley on Tuesday, closing Highway 49 for more than 3 hours as the California Highway Patrol tried to clean up the scene.
“Sounded like something blew up,” said Bill Dougan, who lives nearby. “It was loud. A really loud boom.”
It happened around 1:45 p.m. The two RVs were traveling in opposite directions when they smashed into each other just in front of the Golden Chain Motel. Two drivers and a passenger were injured in the crash.
“There was no way to see their bodies, everything was covering them,” said John Boyd, who was one of the first people on the scene. “I could only see her face and her hand.”
Chasity Haynes ran out of the house and straight down to the highway.
“Please don’t let there be any kids,” Haynes said, recalling her first thought after seeing the wreckage. “Please don’t let there be any dead kids.”
She quickly started clearing debris and searching for anyone in the rubble. Meanwhile, Boyd was just feet away working at the Golden Chain Motel. The former EMT jumped into action.
“They were smashed in and [the driver] is covered with everything,” Boyd said. “He kept saying ‘please get this stuff away from me.’ I just tried to keep him calm say ‘Hey, we can’t move anything right now, my friend.”
Witnesses told CBS 13 emergency responders had to cut to of the two people out of the RV. They were rushed to a nearby hospital.
“The other gentleman from the wide RV actually went through the windshield and flew out of his RV,” Haynes explained.
At one point, Haynes says the man got up and started walking around but soon after, he was airlifted to a hospital in Carmichael. Dougan says he’s surprised anyone made it out alive.
“Looking at that accident, it could have gone the other way pretty easily,” Dougan said.
“If you had shown me the accident, I would have said ‘No survivors,’” Boyd said. “It was a miracle that they lived.”
As more vacationers head down Highway 49 in the summer, Boyd thinks everyone needs to slow down.
“People drive on 49 like they’re driving on 80.” Boyd said.
“I hope they fix the highway to where it’s not as dangerous,” Haynes said.
Highway 49 finally re-opened around 5:15 p.m. CHP is still trying to figure out what caused the collision.