Motorist flown to hospital following accident

Paramedics place Roderico Velazquez-Trejo onto a Calstar

The driver of a Pontiac sedan was airlifted to an area hospital
after a traffic accident on Monterey Road this afternoon.
The driver of a Pontiac sedan was airlifted to an area hospital after a traffic accident on Monterey Road this afternoon.

About 3:05 p.m. today, a red Dodge Ram pickup truck traveling north hit the driver’s side of the Pontiac, according to witnesses and police.

The accident happened in south Morgan Hill, near the intersection of Crowner Avenue in front of the Valero gas station.

The driver of the Pontiac, Roderico Velazquez-Trejo, 23, did not have visible injuries, but police said he was unconscious when they arrived, and was disoriented when he regained consciousness minutes later.

Velazquez-Trejo was awake when paramedics treated him before the arrival of the helicopter, which landed in the middle of Monterey Road, which police blocked in both directions at Watsonville Road and Crowner Avenue.

The Pontiac was turning left out of a Valero station on the east side of Monterey Road when it was broadsided by the truck, Morgan Hill Police Cmdr. David Swing said.

The driver of the truck, Pete Doninelli of Morgan Hill, said he didn’t have time to react when he saw the two-door car cross the northbound lane he was in. Doninelli’s passenger, his cousin, was taken to a hospital by ambulance with complaints of back pain.

Doninelli said his chest was sore – possibly from his seatbelt – and paramedics advised him to go to hospital as well.

He and another motorist traveling north on Monterey Road said it appeared the Pontiac tried to outrun the northbound traffic as it crossed the road.

Noemi Naranjo was driving north in a red Hyundai Elantra, in the eastern or slow lane when the accident happened, she said at the scene. The Pontiac pulled out into the road just in front of her, so closely that she had to stop her car to avoid hitting it.

However Doninelli, who was in the western or inside lane, did not have time to stop. He said he was traveling about 45 to 50 mph, and barely had time to touch his foot to the brake pedal before the collision.

“That truck weighs 6,500 pounds. It wouldn’t matter if I was going 30 (mph),” Doninelli said.

The driver’s side door of the Pontiac was crushed in and ripped off its hinges. The front grill of the Dodge truck was damaged, and radiator coolant was spilling out of the vehicle’s front end when police and firefighters arrived.

Another pickup was parked in front of the Valero gas station, to the left of where the Pontiac was pulling onto Monterey Road, according to Naranjo. She said the parked truck might have been blocking Velazquez-Trejo’s view.

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