Two die in crash

archive_import

By JASON ECK

Two men died Saturday afternoon in a head-on crash on Highway 108 north of Mill Villa Road between Sonora and Jamestown, blocking both traffic lanes.

A California Highway Patrol report states that Joseph E. Tatum, 35, of Twain Harte, was driving a sports car west on Highway 108 at a high rate of speed and passing several vehicles. As he made a sweeping right turn north of Mill Villa Road, Tatum encountered an eastbound sedan driven by Dewayne F. Smith, 37, of Sonora. The two collided head-on at 5:45 p.m.

Tatum's car then glanced off into the side of a third vehicle driven by John J. Daniels, 37, of Murphys, who was driving west.

Tatum's car caught fire. A Highway Patrol officer and two passers-by were able to knock down the flames until firefighters arrived.

Smith died at the scene. Tatum, whose vehicle had to be cut away to free him, died about two hours later while being transported to an air ambulance.

Daniels was uninjured and was able to drive his pickup away.

According to a preliminary Highway Patrol investigation, it is suspected that Tatum had been drinking before the crash. Officer Tom Wills said Tatum's blood alcohol level had yet to be determined.

Heuton Memorial Chapel in Sonora is handling arrangements for Tatum and Smith.

Contact Jason Eck at jeck@uniondemocrat.com .

11499920
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday April 29, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Beloved music teacher, actor dies at 64

04/24/2017

The local arts community is mourning the loss of Rick Restivo, a ... more

Several new businesses to open in downtown Sonora

01/26/2017

It’s shaping up to be a transformative year for the City of ... more

Former Stanislaus National Forest employee missing

04/26/2017

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team is continuing its ... more

Cannabis and Calaveras County

04/21/2017

Marijuana farms are tucked away on isolated mountainsides in Calaveras County, out ... more

Board to provide input on state, federal issues

04/14/2017

Expanding broadband Internet access, funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, ... more