Rain causes two minor accidents

Heavy rainfall Monday night contributed to two accidents on U.S.
Highway 101 north of Bailey Avenue, in which three people were
injured.
San Jose – Heavy rainfall Monday night contributed to two accidents on U.S. Highway 101 north of Bailey Avenue, in which three people were injured.

A San Jose woman survived unscathed after the first crash in which a driver in front of her lost control, only to have another driver strike her car seconds later.

Jennifer Yang, 25, was driving northbound about 8pm just behind, and one lane to the right of, Ferdinan Ofresco Guzman, 43, of San Jose. Both were traveling between 60 and 65 miles per hour in heavy rain.

A combination of wet conditions and unsafe speed caused Guzman to lose control of his 2004 Toyota Tacoma, which crossed into Yang’s lane, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Yang’s 2001 Nissan Altima rear-ended the Toyota, spun out and ended up facing south in the fast lane. Guzman’s pick-up went up an embankment on the right shoulder and overturned.

Meanwhile, Sarah Nicole Schwede, 21, of San Jose, was approaching at 70 mph. She looked to her right at the overturned car, but didn’t see Yang’s car in her lane – or Yang, who had gotten out of the car.

Schwede hit Yang’s car, which in turn hit Yang.

“Surprisingly, she only received minor injuries,” said CHP Officer Matt Ramirez.

Schwede and Guzman also suffered minor injuries, and all three were taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

“These are both instances when people are driving too fast in the rain, causing the vehicles to hydroplane,” Ramirez said. “And their first reaction is to slam on the brakes, which makes it 10 times worse because they have no steering … .”

In another accident, a Watsonville man was trapped in his van for three hours after crashing it on Highway 152 in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Santiago Gonzalez Avila, 25, suffered minor injuries, complaining of back and leg pain, and was transported to Stanford Medical Center once fire crews were able to get him out of his vehicle.

Avila was driving westbound on Pacheco Pass, west of Dinosaur Point, at about 2am when he drove off the right side of the road while on a left-hand curve. His 2001 Mitsubishi van rolled down a dirt embankment and came to rest on its right side. It took fire crews three hours to extricate Avila.

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