Wreck shattered lives and broke hearts

May 28, 2003 12:00 am

Editor's note: Information in yesterday's story came from the victims' driver's licenses, which listed the Olsons as living in Groveland and Mike Fagnani as living in Tuolumne. However, their parents said the Olsons had been living in Jamestown, and Fagnani in Sonora.

By LENORE

RUTHERFORD AND

AMY LINDBLOM

Eddie Olson looked forward to summer classes at Columbia College. His brother, Tony, was about to be engaged. Becki East loved working with children. Mike Fagnani wanted to be a chef.

But the four young people's dreams died with them late Monday afternoon in a crash on Parrotts Ferry Road.

Eddie Olson, 25, lived in Jamestown. He had bought his 2003 Dodge Neon 10 days before the wreck, with money earned at Wal-Mart.

Monday, he loaded up the car with friends and met other pals at Natural Bridges, a popular Calaveras County swimming area on Coyote Creek, a tributary of New Melones Reservoir.

Just after 4:30 p.m., the Olsons, East and Fagnani were headed home from their day at the water, the car packed with beach towels and an umbrella, a case of water, a pink duffel bag, a cooler and clothing.

They had just crossed the Parrotts Ferry Bridge. But Eddie Olson lost control of his new car on a sharp turn above the span. It left the road and plunged 200 feet into the canyon, killing the driver and his three passengers.

The loss has hit friends, families and co-workers of the victims hard.

Eddie Olson's girlfriend, Angelic Clark of Sonora, said he liked to hang out with buddies and go bowling when he wasn't working as the leader of the inventory control system team at Wal-Mart in Sonora.

"This is a tough day for us," said Frank Smart of Wal-Mart. "The whole store is down.