Victim airlifted after crash into Burney building

BURNEY — One person was airlifted with unknown injuries after an SUV crashed into a Burney business earlier this morning, Sunday, Sept. 15. The crash, which left a building with a large hole in its wall and caused moderate damage to the structure, happened on the 37000 block of Main St., just west of Michigan St.


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CHP and Burney Station deputies, along with firefighters and paramedics, were dispatched to the accident shortly after 6 a.m., after receiving reports of a vehicle that had crashed into a building along SR-299/Main St., Burney’s main thoroughfare through town.

When officials arrived they found debris in the roadway along with a vehicle, later described by witnesses as a blue or grey Ford Explorer. The SUV had plowed through a section of fence narrowly missing a light pole, before smashing into the east side of the building.

One person was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding after this morning’s solo-vehicle crash. Carmelia Graves photo

According to a CHP incident log, officials at the scene requested an air ambulance to airlift the victim to Mercy Medical Center in Redding. The victim’s condition and full extent of their injuries were unknown as of this report.

PG&E officials were also summoned to the scene of the crash due to the accident damaging an electrical box located along the building’s west side, leaving live wires exposed, according to officials.

Based on evidence at the scene, officials who investigated the cause of the crash determined the driver, who has not yet been publicly identified, was traveling westbound on Main St. when the accident happened. According to officials and witnesses, nobody was inside the building when the accident happened.

It was not immediately known how fast the SUV was traveling, but the speed limit through the small mountain community is clearly marked as 30 mph through town.

Performance Tow later pulled the vehicle from inside the building and workers then used boards to close the hole left by the SUV’s impact.

After the wrecked SUV was pulled away from the building, workers used boards to close a large hole left in the structure. Aurora Irene Petaja photo

According to Pit River Vice Chair Russell Newt Eleck, the locally owned building damaged in the crash is used by Pit River Tribe Housing Department.

“I hope any injuries are not life threatening,” Eleck told SCNS after the crash.

“As for the building itself, I hope it’s not too bad as to halt operations and that it can be fixed in a timely manner,” Eleck continued. “But our concern for the safety and well being of all involved are a priority.”

It was not known if driver fatigue, a medical condition, intoxication, or excessive speed were contributing factors in the crash, which is being investigated by CHP.

Contacted for further information about the crash, a CHP official said the accident investigation is ongoing.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report indicated that based on a Google search, the business involved in this crash was being used by Wilderness Construction and Remodeling, a general contracting and construction company that provides residential and commercial contractor services throughout the Intermountain area.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, 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 or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; 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 29 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.