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Four killed in New Year’s Eve crash

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:45 am | Updated: 6:40 am, Thu Jan 3, 2013.

Four people were killed in a New Year’s Eve collision on Highway 12, but it is not clear exactly what happened, according to Sgt. Kyle Plant of the California Highway Patrol.

Just after 9 p.m., officers were called to the accident site east of the San Joaquin-Sacramento county line. Officers found a Hyundai overturned in a ditch. A Toyota rested a short distance away, straddling the east- and westbound lanes. Both cars suffered severe front end damage, indicating a head-on collision.

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  • Kevin Paglia posted at 7:26 pm on Thu, Jan 3, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2108


    If you think HWY 12 is bad in a car, you should try it on a motorcycle. Not only do we have cars passing us in bad spots, we hve to worry about the on coming traffic not seeing us when they pass, pulling out right in front of us. AND the road is so hole ridden one wrong move and your bike may kick it's front wheel out and you're going over at 55 mph.

    And that isn't even taking weather into account.

  • John Anderson posted at 5:59 pm on Thu, Jan 3, 2013.

    Delta King Posts: 5

    Thanks, Ed- I have kids in the age range of the victims. I laid awake last night
    thinking about all of this. Today, I wrote John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, Barbra Boxer and Diane Feinstein pleading for their support and clout to turn up the flame on this project. It just can't go on like this. This road is vital to all of us and to commerce, too. Ironically, the Sac Bee reported this in an article that referred to SR12 as a "remote" Delta road. Indeed! SR12 is often bumper to bumper with big rigs, cars, RVs, etc...all going like 60+ in both directions! Its a MAJOR artery between major population centers- no way its a "remote" road....

  • Ed Walters posted at 2:31 pm on Thu, Jan 3, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Agree with what you said John, how ever since Hwy. 12 involves several counties it would be almost impossable to get all those elected leaders on the same page. The standard answer is of course, we along with Caltrans don`t have the money. Sad excuse for what ever reason. I have never seen a crash that bad and I wonder how the CHP, along with fire and medics put up with seeing body parts all over the road day after day. This one had them looking for parts.[sad]

  • John Anderson posted at 3:52 am on Thu, Jan 3, 2013.

    Delta King Posts: 5

    How VERY sad. So much more life ahead of all of these folks. Whatever is determined to be the cause, this tragedy is now added to the SCORES of deaths on the Lodi-Fairfield leg of 12 in just the last decade alone. I often read reader comments saying "its not the road- its the drivers" Well, true. BUT-next time your loved ones take that road- driving safely, of course- will that unknown driver coming toward them at 60+ on that undivided, crowded skinny old road meet all your criteria and pass muster? Or is that person a crack-head, a drunk, having a seizure, fiddling with the radio, or even just experiencing a common tire blowout? And those fatalities represent a large economic loss, too. Those victims were consumers and taxpayers. The ripple effect is much greater than most realize. So I ask- why isn't more being done to prevent these all-too-frequent deadly crossover collisions, which are nearly always fatal? Why are there no barriers of ANY kind east of Rio Vista...yet it is fully barriered above Rio Vista. Across the river from Rio Vista, its the "wild west"! Are better people in charge up there?? Did you know that there has been a MAJOR safety improvement on the Rio Vista to Fairfield leg since those "channelizers" and the partial concrete barrier were installed? The stats do not lie. I attend the Highway 12 Improvement meetings and the CHP rep told me so. And those channelizers are cheap and easy to install on the existing roadway as it is today. And- east of the Tower Park bridge, the road is plenty wide enough to support installation of a CONCRETE barrier system. Drive from Suisun City towards Rio Vista and see for yourself...same size road! If you want to see a real travesty, check out the road where you enter Rio Vista from the north. While there are "channelizers" (thank God)...they are constantly getting knocked down and long sections are thus missing. Why? Caltrans tells me that its because the large trucks with trailers cannot but help sway into them on the very narrow and decrepit old road that exists south of Azevedo Road into Rio Vista. Really?? Then that's clear evidence that the road is TOO NARROW to support safe transit by such trucks- they are actually crossing over the centerline and knocking down the "channelizers" -onto YOUR side of the road! Great, eh? And- those channelizers remain missing for months on end- despite Caltrans having a depot right in Rio Vista! Here is another dark laugh: When I ask when that terrible section of the road is going to get improvements, I get blank eyes from officials and am told "the Developers that are planning to build houses are supposed to do that". Developers? What developers? Those developers in Rio Vista are long gone and so are any "improvements" they promised to do. Further, I'm told: "It takes 10 years for ANYTHING to happen". As I said earlier, 12 has claimed SCORES of lives in such a period. Its just amazing. This section of 12 - Lodi to Fairfield- is the Bermuda Triangle of politics and management. One problem is that this stretch of road crosses multiple counties and jurisdictions. It seems to be a "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" scenario. No clear responsibility. And lawyers must sense a vulnerability- didn't we recently read that a Highway 12 victim was awarded a multi-million dollar judgement against Caltrans? Money that Caltrans could have used for safety improvements like channelizers, for a start. This award may set a precedent for more such claims...and that may finally expedite some real action in a timely fashion. We all need to write our leaders and demand action. Highway 12 is FINALLY supposed to get a brand new and fully divided modern roadway across Bouldin Island this year. That's what they have told us. I'm not a betting man, but I'd wager that it will be years before you and I are able to drive on it......I sure hope I don't win that bet.



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