GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – Even through closed windows and the sound of video games, Chris Wells heard a loud noise outside his house on New Year’s Eve – a sound that he later learned came from a tragic crash.
“I was just playing my Xbox and all of a sudden I heard this big thump,” Wells said. “I thought it was fireworks because there were fireworks going on that night.”
Not fireworks, but a deadly crash occurred right outside his house on Cerrito Road off Highway 49 in the Dew Drop community in southern Nevada County.
“It was hard and loud like bam! It was very, very scary,” Wells said.
Investigators said Raymond Poquette, 80, was driving his motorhome southward on the highway when he crossed into oncoming traffic – plowing into two vehicles head-on.
The California Highway Patrol said one of the drivers – a 56-year-old Grass Valley woman – died and the driver of the other car has minor injuries.
“It’s very tragic and sad to hear someone to die like that,” Wells said.
After a multi-agency investigation, the CHP said it found probable cause to arrest Poquette and book him on murder charges Friday afternoon.
This isn’t the first time Poquette has been involved in a head-on crash with a motorhome. In June 2017, he hit another motorhome along Highway 49. It was a crash involving a retired couple planning to travel the country and resulted in numerous broken bones and cuts.
“Makes me angry feel angry that people do that,” Wells said.
Prior to that incident, The Union, a Nevada City newspaper, reported that, back in 2009, Poquette led law enforcement on a 12-mile chase that ended with his car being spike stripped on a road off of Highway 20.
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