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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE

Witness says another car was at fatal crash scene

Pilot Hill resident was turned away after she offered help
By: Jenifer Gee Gold Country News Service
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A witness to the immediate aftermath of a fatal car accident this weekend said young men turned her away when she approached the scene. Pilot Hill resident and Auburn Realtor Wendy Williams with Connect Realty said there is more to the deadly car accident that killed three people than is being reported. Williams said she and her husband came upon the accident scene on Salmon Falls Road before police arrived early Sunday morning. Williams said she was dozing on and off while her husband drove but awoke when the car slowed and she and her husband saw three men wandering on the two-lane road. The men – and scattered car parts all over the road – were illuminated by a set of headlights, Williams said. Instantly, Williams said she and her husband were concerned because they could tell a crash had occured. “We pulled up on the scene and there’s three guys in the road and they said no one was hurt and no one else was involved,” Williams said Tuesday. Williams said she and her husband repeatedly asked if they needed help. She said they told the men they had blankets in the car and a first-aid kit. “The men in the road sent us away and did not want us to get out of the car,” Williams said. “We both had really strong feelings that something wasn’t right and there was more going on than what’s being said.” One young man, who was wearing a white-and-black shirt, told the couple that a neighbor had driven up on a four-wheeler and was going back home to grab an ice pack for one man walking around with an injured arm. Williams said the one man’s tone was “nonchalant” as he told her and her husband that the police had already been called and that the accident happened when the driver was trying to swerve to miss hitting an animal they couldn’t identify. Williams said after repeated offers of help were denied, the couple eventually drove past the crash scene to make it to their home off Salmon Falls Road. Williams said she could tell there were two cars involved but said it was hard to see other details of the scene because it was dark. She and her husband were planning to call 9-1-1 when they arrived home a few minutes later. However, as they were walking up their driveway, they saw a helicopter fly by and heard ambulance sirens making their way to the scene. The next morning, Williams was driving to work between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. when she saw a large group of police cars along the road near the accident site. “Police were all over the place,” Williams recalled. “They don’t send that out if you hit an animal.” She said she was driving through the scene slowly when she made eye contact with the man who had turned her away from the scene just 12 hours earlier. Williams said when she later saw a television news van at the site, her uneasiness that there was more to the accident than she was told was heightened. She asked her daughter to record the news and when she got home she discovered that three people were killed in the accident. She said she immediately called the California Highway Patrol Office Monday morning and left messages for the investigating officer. She said she tried calling again Tuesday morning but still hasn’t heard back. CHP spokesman Dan Stark said Tuesday that the investigating officer works the graveyard shift and said that is the reason he has most likely not returned Williams’ call. Stark indicated that Williams’ story would be of high interest to the officer. “We’re definitely going to be contacting her,” Stark said. “On something like this we need to make sure we cover all bases.” Williams said she was surprised to hear that the deadly crash was reported as a single-vehicle accident when she saw two cars. She said looking back she can’t imagine why the three men walking around the scene would turn away help for the people in need. “That man sent us away,” Williams said. “We were ready, willing and able to help and possibly help those people instead of letting them lay dying. “I’m not saying I could’ve kept them alive but we could’ve at least put a blanket on people.” Williams said she could not get a good description of the car but described the one man who talked to her and her husband as wearing a white and black shirt with tan/brown skin. She said he had dark brown hair. Williams said she later stopped by the site and prayed for the people who died. “It’s horrid – I really feel for the families,” Williams said. She said she is very upset over the thought that someone turned away help for others who were in pain or dying. “Sometimes in life-and-death situations all people need are little pieces of hope to cling to,” Williams said. “People survive all kinds of things sometimes in critical situations. The guy on the street took away any chances of help or comfort.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- A friend speaks out A friend of those involved in a car accident that killed three contacted the Journal via e-mail after reading Wendy Williams’ account online. Nick Jake said those at the scene were “traumatized by the accident and what they saw.” Jake, who said the three men Williams is talking about are “personal friends of mine and have each discussed the carnage at the scene.” “The man turned them away because the two were dead, the third was brain dead and couldn’t have been helped,” Jake wrote in an e-mail. Jake continued to say that it was a one-car accident and the vehicle involved “wrapped around a tree.” He said the drivers were not drifting and not racing. “The vehicle they were driving is obviously a high-performance machine in the hands of an inexperienced driver, also a personal friend of mine,” Jake wrote. “He is going to have to live the rest of his life wishing it was him rather than them. R.I.P. Alex and the other passengers.” ----------