GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – A head-on collision in Grass Valley on Tuesday landed Bonnie and Larry Kaye in the hospital. Their daughters were 400 miles away in Orange County when they got the news.
“[You] feel helpless like you can’t get there and do anything,” said Sandy Turner, Kaye’s daughter.
Around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, the Kayes were in their RV headed northbound on Highway 49. Raymond Poquette was driving another RV heading southbound when he crossed into the northbound lane and collided with the Kaye’s RV.
Kelly Grimm says all she knew was that her dad was one of the drivers.
“Both of them were airlifted and they wouldn’t tell us anything so my first thought is that they’re dead,” Grimm said.
Grimm, Turner and their sister Wendy Kaye hopped on the first flight out of Orange County, not knowing what their parents’ condition would be when they landed.
“The second we walked in and saw our dad, all three of us just started bawling,” Grimm explained.
Larry had major cuts all over his body and Bonnie suffered a broken neck, a broken nose and a shattered foot. Meanwhile, the couple’s youngest son Jeff heard the entire story over the phone. He was out of the country with his new bride on his honeymoon.
“He wanted to leave his honeymoon early, come here, and my dad was like ‘No, don’t do it. Your sisters are here, I’m fine,’” Grimm said.
The three sisters sorted through the wreckage Thursday afternoon to recover some personal items their dad had requested.
“His Stetson hat,” Kaye said. “He wanted that really bad.”
The couple, who live in Anaheim, bought the RV last year and planned to spend their retirement traveling all over the country.
“This might have cut their RV vacationing to an end,” Turner said.
But looking at what’s left of the RV, the sisters say it’s a miracle their parents are still alive.
“So grateful, there’s not even words for it,” Kaye said.
“You take life for granted so often,” Turner said. “It makes you really want to spend more time with your family.”
Larry was released from Sutter Roseville Medical Center today and Bonnie has just been transferred to another hospital in Sacramento. The sisters say their parents likely have several surgeries to come.
California Highway Patrol is still investigating whether or not alcohol was a factor in the crash.