George C. Bradshaw, 80, was pronounced dead at the scene, and fire crews had to use the Jaws of Life to extract his body from the wrecked 2007 GMC Canyon pickup truck.
At 11 a.m, the truck collided with a 2000 Dutch Star motor home driven by Lue Allen Hahn, 72, of Fairbanks, Alaska.
The crash brought traffic in both directions to a standstill for several hours.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Bradshaw was traveling north on Highway 101 when his vehicle veered into the southbound lane, colliding with Hahn’s motor home, then spinning counter-clockwise before coming to a stop in the center of the highway near Pelican Beach Vista Road.
The collision caused major damage to both vehicles. The front end of Bradshaw’s pickup truck was crumpled, pinning him in the driver’s seat. The motor home suffered damage to the front driver side, including a wheel sheared from its axle.
Hahn, traveling with his wife, Susan, and their cocker spaniel, Jinx, was taken by ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. Jinx, who was thrown through the front windshield during the accident, appeared unhurt.
“I saw him start to drift into the lane, and I thought, ‘What is this guy doing?’ And then, bam!” said witness Thomas Wells of Missoula, Mont., who, with his wife Judy, was traveling in their motor home behind the Hahns. “It brought the motor home to a dead stop.”
Wells, who is a cousin of the Hahns, said they had been traveling together from Montana over the past few weeks, and they planned to spend a couple days in Crescent City before turning around and heading home to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family.
Wells explained that traffic at the time was light and the two motor homes were traveling approximately 30 mph when Bradshaw, who was traveling approximately 55 mph, according to CHP reports, veered into Hahn’s vehicle.
A CHP officer at the scene said there were no skid marks on the road. The accident is currently under investigation.