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Drugs are a Suspected Factor in Latest Highway 70 Collision

Highway 70 Collision Kills Marysville Man

Another fatal car crash occurred on Highway 70 near Marysville on Friday, April 30, 2021.  The incident took place on Feather River Boulevard, just south of Marysville, within Yuba County. It happened shortly before 5:00 a.m.

Edgar Ernst, a 38-year-old man from Rio Linda, was driving northbound on Feather River in a Honda Accord, traveling at an unknown speed. According to statements issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Accord crossed the center dividing line and began traveling in the wrong direction in a southbound lane of Highway 70. 

Brian Allen, a 64-year-old Marysville man, was driving south on Highway 70 when his Kia Optima collided with the errant Honda Accord. Sadly, Mr. Allen suffered fatal injuries in the collision. Mr. Ernst sustained only minor injuries, including a facial laceration and back pain. 

There was major damage to both involved vehicles. The Accord came to rest within the right shoulder of the road on its roof. The Kia was found on its wheels blocking two lanes of traffic in the southbound direction. 

The CHP has revealed that drugs are a suspected factor in this crash, which remains under investigation.  

Drugs and Impaired Driving

People often first think of alcohol when impaired driving is a suspected factor in a car crash, but many times drugged driving is the culprit. While we have no information currently as to what type of drugs could have played a role in this fatal Highway 70 collision, a number of substances, both illegal and legal, can affect a person’s ability to drive safely.

A drug abuse website hosted by the federal government goes over the effects that different types of drugs can have on the ability to drive.  Marijuana can impair one’s judgment of distance, speed, and time, as well as slow a driver’s reaction time. Methamphetamines and cocaine may result in reckless or aggressive driving in addition to impaired judgment. Some prescription medications, including opioids and benzodiazepines such as Xanax, can impair cognitive function and cause dizziness and drowsiness.

Additionally, many times people mix a variety of substances, including alcohol, which further compounds the impairment. Some states have enacted zero-tolerance laws surrounding the use of drugs while driving – meaning if any amount of a substance that can cause impairment is detected in a driver’s system, they may face charges for driving under the influence (DUI).

Highway 70 Danger Zone

It seems like every week, we have been reporting on major crashes on Highway 70.  Just one week to the day before this current tragedy, another serious crash resulted in major injuries. There were also fatal incidents on Highway 70 in February and March.  When so many injury-causing and fatal car crashes start happening along one particular stretch of highway, it may be time for state officials to look at what can be done to promote a safer passage for California commuters.

Watch the YouTube video. The Caltrans video below discusses one Highway 70 improvement project.

Marysville Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello and thank you for reading our report on the latest in a series of fatal car crashes along Highway 70. I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Marysville, California. My team of skilled injury lawyers can help you deal with the aftermath of a major car accident. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, or you are the grieving family of a loved one lost to a wrongful death accident, call us promptly so we can begin preserving evidence and protecting your legal rights. For compassionate, free, and friendly advice, call us at (800) 404-5400 or (530) 392-9400.

For more than 38 years, my law firm has been advocating for injured Marysville residents. For information on some of our prior cases, please look through our verdicts and case settlements. To access a number of reviews from our past clients, visit the sites linked below:

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