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Collision injures three people, destroys two trucks

Posted: Thursday, Aug 29th, 2013

California Highway Patrol officer Tom Frank investigates a two-vehicle collision on East Lake Avenue Thursday near Beverly Drive. The male driver of the pickup shown here fled the scene on foot. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Three people suffered minor injuries after a head-on collision on East Lake Avenue late Thursday morning.

According to witnesses, the driver of a red Chevrolet pickup lost control when he accelerated eastbound on East Lake quickly out of Mariscos El Navarita #2 restaurant approximately 11:55 a.m., and swerved into the path of a black Chevrolet Tahoe.

The collision sent the Tahoe through a barbed wire fence and into an adjacent strawberry field. Both trucks were destroyed. A 20-foot section of the fence was ripped apart.

California Highway Patrol officer Tom Frank said the driver of the pickup apparently pulled out of the restaurant and somehow lost control in the eastbound lane of East Lake. The pickup then bolted into the westbound lane where it struck the westbound Tahoe.

Witnesses said they saw the driver of the red truck get out of his vehicle after the crash, clutching his stomach and crying out in pain. The driver ran around the scene of the collision, then fled through a parking lot next to Carniceria Las Paisas & Produce and onto the Salsipuedes Creek Levee.

“He was in pain, you could tell,” said Elena Sanchez. “He kept going in circles like he didn’t know what to do.”

The collision briefly blocked East Lake Avenue near the intersection of Holohan Road, prompting bystanders to help direct traffic.

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