Four members of a Rio Linda family were injured Saturday when their SUV did a barrel roll across a ditch and into oncoming traffic, closing Highway 70 for more than a half-hour, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Thong Duc Nguyen, 27, of Rio Linda was northbound on Highway 70 just south of the McGowan Parkway exit at about 4:50 p.m. when his Toyota Highlander veered to the left at an unknown rate of speed.
Witnesses said the vehicle rolled across the 6-foot-deep ditch dividing the northbound and southbound lanes and came to rest in the southbound lane. No other cars were involved in the accident, said CHP Officer J.D. Moser.
The preliminary investigation found that Nguyen likely fell asleep on the drive to Olivehurst to pick up his wife’s car from a mechanic, said Moser.
“Luckily, everyone was restrained, including the children in child restraint seats,” he said.
The children were both in the back seat, and Nguyen’s wife was in the passenger’s seat next to him.
After the wreck, Moser said he was able to talk to Nguyen and find out some of the details about his wild ride across into oncoming traffic.
All four were taken to Rideout Emergency Center, where they were treated for mild to moderate injuries.
The occupants had to be extricated from the vehicle because of the major damage, Moser said.
Highway 70 was reopened around 5:25 p.m.
“Our primary concern was patient care, and then we shifted to making sure there weren’t second, third or fourth collisions and finally moved to open the road as quickly as possible,” Moser said.
Any one who may have witnessed the accident is encouraged to call Moser at (530) 674-5141, ext. 338.
“We have a good idea of what happened, but witnesses are encouraged to come forward with any additional information,” Moser said.