AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) -- A man died Wednesday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 49 in Auburn.
Just after 1 p.m., witnesses said they saw a black Volkswagen Golf traveling 80 to 85 mph in the middle turning lane on northbound Highway 49 near Cramer Road while passing other cars.
As it approached Cramer Road, California Highway Patrol Officer David Martinez says the Volkswagen swerved into the southbound lanes, swiping a Ford F-150. The Volkswagen lost control before it was broadsided by an Acura.
“Driving at a high rate of speed, driving in a lane that’s not meant to be driven in, passing vehicles, swerving into oncoming traffic. That's basically what happened with this,” Martinez told FOX40.
A 21-year-old man who was behind the wheel of the Volkswagen died from his injuries, according to Officer Martinez.
Martinez reports a 73-year-old man from Grass Valley was driving the Acura and sustained major injuries. He was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
The two people in the pickup truck were unharmed.
Shortly after the crash, the CHP posted information about the wreck on its Facebook page. Under that post, a woman claiming she was a co-worker of the 21-year-old said she was with him prior to the crash.
When FOX40 reached out to her, the woman sent a statement:
I work with him. He’s diabetic and wears an insulin pump. It was obvious something wasn’t right by his abnormal behavior. He is an extremely mild mannered, funny and polite kid but he was highly agitated, disoriented and becoming combative as we were trying to settle him down and get him to wait for medical help. He ended up getting in his car and the owner of our company tried to stop him but was nearly ran over in the process. It was awful and we did the best we could to help him and this was completely out of character for him. He would never in anyway do anything to chance hurting someone else. It’s heart breaking that this is how things needed to end.
Investigators say they are looking into the driver's state of mind at the time of the crash and will be interviewing his mother. They do not believe the weather played a factor and do not know if drugs or alcohol were involved.