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Two major collisions, one fatal, shut down Citrus Heights roadways

A signal light at the intersection of Greenback Lane and Fountain Square Drive was sheered from its foundation after a collision Friday night. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip–
Two major collisions Friday night kept Citrus Heights police busy, including a head-on collision on Greenback Lane that shut down both directions of the roadway and another collision on Auburn Boulevard that left one man dead.

Lieutenant Wesley Herman of the Citrus Heights Police Department said the first collision involved a Ford Excursion was turning left from Fountain Square Drive onto Eastbound Greenback Lane when a smaller vehicle crossed the center divide and collided with the Excursion.

Charles Platz, a witness who lives nearby, said he had just put his children to bed when he looked up to see the collision.

“It was loud,” Platz said of hearing the impact. “Probably one of the louder ones I’ve heard.”

Platz said he rushed to the scene and worked with another bystander to put out a fire that started in one of the vehicles. He said the other witness had a fire extinguisher in his Jeep at the scene of the accident.

The collision caused the Excursion to careen into a signal light on the northwest corner of Fountain Square Drive and Greenback Lane, sheering it from its concrete footing.

Following the collision, Citrus Heights police were observed positioned along Greenback Lane to divert traffic around the intersection.

Herman said other drivers at the scene recognized the smaller car as a vehicle that had been driving erratically along Greenback lane just before the collision. Drivers of both vehicles were admitted to Mercy San Juan with non-life threatening injuries according to police.

A few hours after the collision on Greenback Lane, in a separate incident, a vehicle crashed into a car lot at Auburn Boulevard and Manzanita Avenue.

Citrus Heights police responded and said a solo vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed collided with 10 to 12 unoccupied parked vehicles at the car lot. The male driver in his mid-twenties was transported to Mercy San Juan where he succumbed to injuries.

All lanes of westbound Auburn Boulevard were shut down for several hours, following the collision. Police suspect driver intoxication may be a factor in both incidents, although toxicology tests are pending.

A photo from the scene of a collision on Auburn Boulevard and Manzanita Avenue Friday night shows damage to multiple vehicles. // Image courtesy, Robert Craft
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