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Sheriff’s Update: One Person Found Dead in Fiery Highway 139 Crash

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

The body of an as-yet identified driver was discovered by Sheriff’s Deputies and a Cal-Fire crew late Sunday night, 300-feet down an embankment on Highway 139 just north of Hidden Valley Ranch. The crash also sparked a vegetation fire which firefighters had to contend with before it was safe to reach to reach the vehicle and recover the driver’s remains.

Lassen County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene for a reported vegetation fire at about 8:20p.m., to find Cal-Fire personnel on-scene tending to the fire.

“Deputies saw an overturned vehicle on fire approximately 300-feet down the hillside,” explains LCSO Lieutenant David Woginrich. “Once it was safe to examine, Cal Fire personnel located human remains inside the vehicle. Based on the condition of the body, deputies were unable to positively identify the decedent.”

California Highway Patrol officers were on scene conducting a traffic accident investigation and located skid marks on the highway and extensive damage to the guard rail.

Susanville Towing arrived on scene and, after several hours, were able to pull the vehicle up to the highway.

“The decedent’s remains were removed from the vehicle and sent to the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Reno, Nevada, for DNA testing. Pending positive identification, a name is being withheld.”

Woginrich and the LCSO thanked the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, Cal Trans and Susanville Towing for their assistance in the incident.

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