GRASS VALLEY, Calif. June 6, 2017 – At approximately 1:28 PM this afternoon, Grass Valley resident Raymond Poquette, 77, was driving a Ford Pace Arrow 34 ft. motorhome, traveling southbound on SR-49, just south of Wellswood Way near the Golden Chain Motel. He was not wearing his seatbelt.
Anaheim resident Lawrence Kaye, 64, was driving northbound in a Freightliner Thor motorhome, towing a Jeep sport utility vehicle, approaching Poquette’s location.
For an undetermined reason, Poquette unsafely turned his motorhome across the center of the roadway, across a dividing section and fully into the northbound lane, directly into Kaye’s path.
Kaye was unable to avoid a collision and was struck head-on by Poquette. Both vehicles sustained massive damage and became disabled in the northbound lane and shoulder. Large amounts of vehicle parts and debris were spread across SR-49, effectively closing the entire highway.
Both Lawrence Kaye and his passenger Bonnie Kaye sustained major injuries in the collision. Bonnie Kaye was flown to Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael by a CHP rescue helicopter. Lawrence Kaye was transported to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center by a CalStar air ambulance/helicopter.
Poquette was ejected out of his motorhome and received major injuries during the collision. He was also transported to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
Kaye had also been transporting two dogs at the time of the collision. One dog remained inside the Freightliner and the other escaped through the broken/open chassis after the collision. They were both safely recovered and seemed to be in generally good health. They were transported to a local veterinary hospital for evaluation and treatment.
CHP is handling the ongoing investigation. It is not yet known whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in this collision. No arrests have been made. SR-49 was closed in both directions for approximately three hours and 40 minutes for the investigation and cleanup at the scene.
During the incident, a detour was established on La Barr Meadows Rd between McKnight Way (Grass Valley) and SR-49 south of the collision scene. Other agencies responding to this incident were the Grass Valley Police Department, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Grass Valley Fire Department, Sierra Nevada Ambulance service, Penn Valley Fire Protection District ambulance, CalStar, and Caltrans.