A 95-year-old San Andreas man was fatally injured in a head-on collision on Highway 49, south of Sandra Road near the Calaveras and Amador County line on June 10. Four individuals, including three children, suffered major injuries.
The collision occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. when Thomas Diermier, 95, driving northbound in a 2014 Lexus RX350 reportedly crossed over a double-yellow line into the southbound lane in order to pass a logging truck, according to a news release issued by the California Highway Patrol in Amador County.
Sean Vasko, 38, of Plymouth, was driving a 2018 GMC Denali in the southbound lane at 55 mph with three 12-year-old passengers when the two vehicles collided head-on, causing significant damage to both vehicles.
Following the collision, Diermier’s vehicle caught on fire, but responding officers and citizens were able to extinguish the flames and remove Diermier from his vehicle before it became fully engulfed, according to the release.
Despite life-saving efforts administered by first responders, Diermier succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
All four occupants of the GMC Denali sustained severe injuries and were transported to various hospitals in Sacramento and Jackson.
Investigators have not determined if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the collision.