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Final Report Sheds New Light On Old Priest Grade Rd. Accident

Jamestown, CA — A CHP report has shed new light on the abandoned 2001 Chevy pickup that was discovered in the brush some 300 yards from the top of Old Priest Grade Rd. at 7:15 this morning.

Later this morning officers were told by the vehicle’s owner, 18 year old Joel Caldwell of Pacifica, that he and his friend, 18 year old James Hanzlick also of Pacifica, were forced off the road by an approaching vehicle at approximately 10:20 Sunday evening. The Bay Area pair was returning to a Pine Mountain Lake cabin from the Gentlemen’s Club on Hwy 108 just west of O’Brynes Ferry Rd.

Officer Mike Remmel says the CHP report will show the eastbound vehicle was not forced off the road … it hit an embankment on the right side of the road. Hanzlick was behind the wheel and he immediately over corrected and the vehicle crossed over the westbound lane and rolled several times down the ravine.

Both were wearing seat belts and were able to extricate themselves from the truck. They then caught a ride to a Pine Mountain cabin. 

Even though Caldwell was the registered owner, Hanzlick was behind the wheel because Caldwell had a suspended license due to a DUI infraction. He admitted to officers that he was under the influence when the accident occured Sunday evening.

Officers found marijuana and a loaded weapon in the pickup truck.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com