Investigators Say It’s Hard to Determine Why Deadly Crashes Keep Happening on Rural Sutter County Road

NICOLAS -- As Highway 99 runs north from Sacramento, it intersects with many roads like Riego Road.

There aren’t many stop signs – mostly just two lanes with little room on the shoulder.

Recently, this has been a recipe for disaster for some drivers.

It’s not easy for Emily Cecil to be back on Riego at 99.

“I’m driving from Roseville and I’m crying my eyes out the whole way down this road,” she said.

Speaking to FOX40 Tuesday was one of the only times she’s returned since her close friend Noe Ayala was killed here by a drunk driver back in July.

“It’s a lot. It just hurts, you know? And I hurt for the families that are now facing what we all had to face,” she said.

Now, the families of three more people know Cecil’s pain.

Those three people were killed Monday in two separate, unrelated crashes on the same stretch of road.

“I wish we could pinpoint anything,” Yuba-Sutter CHP spokeswoman Jodie Beck said. “Unfortunately, no, there’s no rhyme or reason.”

Officer Beck says despite there being several fatal accidents at this one intersection, there’s no pattern they can identify that’s causing crashes.

“We haven’t found anything that is ... one thing that is putting anything at fault, other than driver error,” Beck said.

Beck says the first crash early Monday morning happened after a car traveling southbound veered off the road, swerved back on and ended up colliding with an oncoming car, killing himself and injuring another driver.

Remnants of the second crash were still at the scene Tuesday afternoon, alongside police markings.

Investigators described similar circumstances, stating a woman veered off the road and swerved back on, causing a head-on crash. A man following behind her then crashed into her car.

She and the man both died while the teen she hit survived.

“As we’re standing here, cars are flying by us right now,” Cecil said.

Cecil says the dangers there are obvious. Cars are often going faster than the speed limit.

On some stretches, like where Ayala died, there is very little room on the shoulder to avoid an out of control vehicle.

“When you get out here, where do you turn around? There’s really nowhere to turn around,” Cecil said. “Speed bumps should be put in place to slow traffic down or put more officers out here on duty.”

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