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Nevada County man dies after crashing into a tree

Road conditions were wet and slushy
By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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A 62-year-old Grass Valley man lost his life last week on a rural Placer County road. The single-car wreck occurred during a light snowstorm on Feb. 29. According to Sgt. Curtis Fouyer, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol Gold Run office, Jeffrey Lynn Menesz died when the 1999 Chevrolet Astrovan he was driving crashed into an oak tree at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Placer Hills Road. Fouyer said Menesz was driving eastbound on Placer Hills Road, east of Plum Tree Road and about four miles west of Colfax. It appeared Menesz lost control as he descended the hill and the van rotated, lost traction, slid of the road, and the driver’s left-side door hit a tree. “The severe impact … pushed the door into the driver’s compartment,” Fouyer said. “It appeared he was traveling at a speed that was unsafe for the conditions.” According to investigating officer Kevin Craig, when he arrived at the scene, “The roadway was covered with about one inch of snow and that snow turned to slush under a light rain.” Craig’s report also indicated that upon their arrival the victim was unresponsive and was being treated by emergency medical personnel. Menesz was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no witnesses and the driver’s speed at the time of the crash is not known, Fouyer said. Menesz was wearing a seatbelt. – Martha Garcia