CHP investigating after car crash in Placer County woman’s front yard

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LINCOLN, Calif. (KTXL) — A loud bang sent Gretchen Umlauf rushing from her home Wednesday morning to find a car, mangled in her front yard.

“The sound made us think it was a tree that fell,” she said. “For me, it was scary because I thought someone might have died.”

The driver and passenger survived but were injured.

“They were pretty banged up. They had some cuts on their faces. Bloody nose,” witness Suzy Hunter said.

Tire marks show where the car veered off the road through a fence, around a tree and into another tree before finally coming to a stop.

Surveillance footage shows what happened moments before the crash. A silver sedan parks in the middle of Virginiatown Drive near Daniel Drive and then backs up.

As a gold Honda Accord drives into frame, the sedan appears to start to turn in front of it.

“It does appear that it caused the car to veer out of the way and possibly collide with these trees and fence,” CHP Auburn Officer Amy Walker said.

CHP investigators are now searching for the driver of the silver sedan. Walker says they want to know why that sedan started turning in front of another car.

“Were they waiting for something? Were they lost? Were they delivering packages?” Walker said. “I mean there’s so many different things that could have been going on.”

Despite the hilly roadway, the CHP believes the driver of the sedan should have seen the Honda Accord coming – but neighbors disagree.

“There’s a blind hill there without any warning. We’ve had so many accidents along here that it really needs to be addressed,” Umlauf said.

Umlauf is calling for signs to warn drivers of the hill, as well as a reduced speed limit.

She hopes this is the last broken fence she’ll have to replace, and that no one else is hurt along her street.

“It’s unnerving,” she said.


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