Vallecito car crash victim ID’d

By Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat February 20, 2013 09:16 am

The California Highway Patrol has identified the man killed in Monday afternoon’s auto collision near Vallecito as David Garrett, 75, of Camp Connell.

Garrett was pronounced dead Monday at the scene of the accident, which occurred on Highway 49 near Parrotts Ferry Road.

The Omaha, Neb., native has lived in the area with his wife, Peggy, since the 1980s.

“They’ve been a part of the community for a long time,” his son, Brent Garrett, of Ceres, said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Before moving to Calaveras County, Garrett worked as an elementary school teacher in Fremont for many years.

“He was a great mentor and teacher,” Brent Garrett said. 

David Garrett also left behind a second son, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Brent Garrett and his wife were visiting Camp Connell for their anniversary at the time of the accident.

“It was a rough way to end (the trip),” he said.

According to the CHP, David Garrett was driving his 2008 Toyota Prius east on Highway 4 around 1:55 p.m. in clear conditions.

For an unknown reason, Garrett’s car drifted into the westbound lane and collided with an oncoming 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Dodge overturned in the westbound lane and landed on the passenger’s side. The Prius came to a rest in the eastbound lane.

Garrett was wearing his seat belt and his airbags deployed, the CHP said.

“He was healthy,” Brent Garrett said of his father. “He had a lot of good years left.”

The driver of the Dodge, Marcello Bigotti, 51, of Walnut Creek, had moderate injuries and was transported by a friend to Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas.

His wife and passenger, Shirley Bigotti, also 51, was transported by ambulance to the same hospital with moderate injuries. The CHP said at the scene that she possibly had a broken leg. 

Marcello Bigotti said he and his wife, who were both wearing seat belts, were returning home after visiting their Arnold cabin.

“He just came right in on me,” Bigotti said.

Three dogs in the couple’s truck were uninjured.