More than half-dozen wrecks wreak havoc on SR-89 – “Sheet-ice” reported

UPDATED: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 3:50 p.m., With additional details.

As the first snow of the season began falling in and around the Intermountain area, east of Redding and south of Mt. Shasta, CHP and area tow companies found themselves overwhelmed with numerous crashes reported throughout the region.

Within hours of the season’s first snowfall in the area, CHP began receiving reports of solo-vehicle crashes, head-on collisions, and spin outs along Highways 299 East and West, as well as on Highways 89 and 44.

One area hit particularly hard, Highway 89 in the area of Clark Creek Rd. and Lake Britton, has been the scene of more than a half-dozen wrecks within the last few hours. The accidents have included several jack-knifed and stranded big-rigs, as well as several passenger vehicles and a pickup truck with a cabover camper.

Despite the multiple wrecks and strandings, no injuries have been reported.

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One of the first crashes along Highway 89 near Clark Creek Rd. was reported to CHP shortly after noon, when a caller told emergency dispatchers their big-rig had jack-knifed “near the corner,” just south of Dana cut-off, according to one of multiple CHP incident logs.

When the first CHP officer arrived in the area they reported finding the truck blocking part of the highway with the rig’s driver attempting to chain his tires so he could try to get his tractor-trailer combo back on the road.

The officer reported finding “sheet-ice” conditions on the roadway and requested Cal-Trans to the scene with snow plows; reporting that “no one is going to be able to get through” the area. The officer also reported that Cal-Trans officials would need to update the chain control signs, due to the worsening conditions.

At 12:50 p.m., while CHP was still working at the scene of the first crash, a woman driving a white Honda Pilot became stranded in the same area due to the icy conditions and she reported being unable to safely travel any further.

Officers reported the woman was “scared to death, and needed to be towed back to Burney.”

An hour later, CHP updated that another vehicle became stranded along the same stretch of highway, due to not having snow chains and the impassable road conditions.

The vehicle, a half-ton, two wheel drive pickup truck with a cabover camper would need to be towed “back to flat ground,” according to officials at the scene.

A station wagon was one of several vehicles that lost control and crashed while traveling along Highway 89 due to today’s icy road conditions. None of the crashes resulted in injuries, according to CHP. Cassie Bosworth photo

While tow companies and heavy duty wreckers responded to the area from throughout the region, another solo-vehicle accident was reported along SR-89 near the Lake Britton bridge, just north of the other incidents.

CHP soon reported finding a small blue station wagon with front-end damage and an inoperable engine that spun out and crashed head-on into a guard rail on a curve along the highway. CHP reported the car would need to be towed from the scene and requested a AAA tow for the uninjured driver.

At 3:20 p.m., an officer at that accident scene reported that two more big-rigs had just jack-knifed in the same area and requested two more wreckers to the area.

Just five minutes later, officers at the scene of the wrecks near Clark Creek Rd. reported that yet another vehicle had spun out and crashed into a snow bank along the side of the ice covered highway. Officers reported the occupants were safely out of their vehicle, which was left facing the wrong way and partially blocking the two-lane, mountain road.

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Performance, Clayton’s, Dan Palmer, and California were among the multiple tow companies that sent flatbeds, as well as medium and heavy duty wreckers to the area to help.

At around 3:50 p.m., CHP updated that most of the wrecked or stranded vehicles had been towed from the area or assisted back onto the highway. However at least one of the vehicles, the pickup truck with cabover camper, was still waiting to be pulled from where it remained stranded and towed from the area.

Officers also reported they were escorting southbound SR-89 traffic through the area, but northbound traffic was not yet being allowed to pass through the area.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.

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