Girl, 9, dead, mother paralyzed, 2 others injured after Millville rollover

MILLVILLE — A 9-year-old girl was killed and her mother suffered a broken neck and may be paralyzed from the neck down after a solo-vehicle, rollover accident, Sunday morning, July 28. Two other children, ages 3 and 6, suffered minor to moderate injuries, including a broken femur, bruised lungs, and others injuries after the crash; which happened east of Palo Cedro on Whitmore Rd., east of Old 44 Dr. in Millville.

The victims’ now grieving husband and father only learned about the tragedy when his wife and children were rushed to the Emergency Room where he was working, according to family members.


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CHP and other emergency personnel were alerted to yesterday morning’s crash shortly after 10 a.m., after witnesses called 911 to report the deadly accident, CHP has since reported.

Rescue personnel arrived to find a Ford Excursion that had crashed through a fence and overturned several times in a field. Officials found three surviving victims, who were all rushed to area hospitals for treatment of injuries described by CHP as minor to major.

Officials also found a 9-year-old girl, who has since been identified by family members as Sierra Knutson, deceased at the scene.

MaryAnn Knutson, 38, (back row, far right) was seriously injured and may be parylized from the neck down and one of her daughters, 9-year-old, Sierra Knutson, (second row, middle left), was killed in a rollover crash yesterday morning. Knutson family photo/gofundme

During their subsequent investigation, CHP officers learned the driver of the Excursion, later identified as MaryAnn Knutson, 38, was driving westbound on Millville Rd. at about 70 miles per hour, when she attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle, according to CHP.

As MaryAnn pulled back into her lane of travel she lost control of her SUV, causing it to careen off the south side of the road, where it then crashed through a fence and rolled several times, coming to rest on its wheels, CHP described.

Family members of the victims have since explained, “MaryAnn, Sierra, Whitney and Trinity Knutson got in the car to go to town while brother Bryson stayed at home with family and TJ was at work at the Emergency Room.”

“There was a terrible accident that sent MaryAnn’s car rolling into a field, resulting in the death of their oldest daughter Sierra,” the family continued in a gofundme account created to help offset the “enormous medical costs for the Knutson family.”

MaryAnn suffered a broken neck “that is almost certainly going to result in lifelong paralysis from the neck down,” devastated family members explained.

The 3 and 6 year old girls, the older of whom has already been discharged from the hospital, are expected to make full recoveries, according to the Knutson family.

“More than anything, please pray for comfort and healing for the whole Knutson and Bostrom families,” family members asked in their gofundme fundraiser. The fundraiser has raised nearly $32,000 during its first 15 hours.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are considered factors in the deadly crash, according to CHP, who said their accident investigation is ongoing.

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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.