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Loomis traffic accidents up 38 percent

Numbers jump up in '09, but most wrecks are 'fender benders'
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Sheriff’s officers and Loomis Fire Protection District personnel were kept busy Tuesday afternoon responding to three separate vehicle accidents in the Town of Loomis. Placer County Sheriff’s Officer Bob Brodovsky said the number is not a record for Loomis, but it is unusual. The first accident occurred on Taylor Road near Del Oro High School as classes were getting out in the afternoon. Gene Gilbertson, of Newcastle, said he was slowing down for school traffic when his SUV was rear-ended. His wife, a passenger in the vehicle, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries. Gilbertson’s great-grandson Samuel, 4, was a passenger in the vehicle and was uninjured. “There was a loud noise, a big boom,” Samuel said of the collision. The second accident occurred soon after on Horseshoe Bar Road east of Interstate 80. The driver in a single-car-accident fled the scene on foot, was apprehended and arrested for a suspected DUI. The third accident was minor and occurred at the stoplight on Horseshoe Bar Road and the Interstate 80 onramp. According to a report prepared by Brodovsky, traffic accidents in the Town of Loomis were up 38 percent in 2009 over 2008. “Most of these were fender-benders,” Brodovsky said. The majority of the accidents, Brodovsky said, were non-injury or “complaint of pain only,” although there was one fatality. Del Oro graduate Cassandra Mandeville was killed in a solo vehicle accident on Rocklin Road in September. Brodovsky said speed and driver inattention are the cause of most accidents. “Inattention is a big one. People are doing everything but keeping to their driving: talking on cell phones, eating, shaving, putting on makeup, some people are even changing,” he said. “Speed is a factor in almost every accident,” the officer said. He explained, “The California Vehicle Code states you will not go faster than is safe for prevailing conditions. If conditions say you should be going zero, then the safe speed is zero.” The Sheriff’s department accident report showed most accidents occur on weekdays, with larger groupings from 7 to 8 a.m., noon to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. About 30 percent of the accidents involved drivers between the ages of 15 and 20. Brodovsky said the accident locations were scattered around town, but clusters of accidents occurred at King and Taylor roads, Taylor and Horseshoe Bar roads, at Horseshoe Bar and I-80 and on Wells Avenue in the Barton Road area. Brodovsky said the number of traffic tickets being issued in Loomis may go up for this year. “In 2008 we wrote a lot of tickets, and we had a dramatic decrease in the number of accidents. We tried to give everybody a break last year, and not write as many tickets, and the accidents went up,” he said. “Now, I’m going to be concentrating on trying to reduce accidents again, for this year. Yes, that means writing more tickets,” Brodovsky said. ---------------------- LOOMIS TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS 2008: 45 2009: 62, including one fatality Peak accident times: Nine from 7 - 9 a.m.; eight from noon - 1 p.m.; nine from 3 – 4 p.m. Peak accident days: 13 on Mondays, 14 on Fridays Accidents by age: 18 by 15- to 20-year-olds, eight by 21- to 24-year-olds, 10 by 25- to 35-year-olds, seven by 36- to 50-year-olds, four by 51- to 65-year-olds, five by 65-year-olds and older Source: Placer County Sheriff’s Department PENRYN AND UNINCORPORAGED LOOMIS ACCIDENTS 2009: 78, including 43 injury accidents Primary locations: Six on Auburn Folsom Road, six on Taylor Road, three on King Road, four on Sierra College Boulevard Source: California Highway Patrol