MENDOCINO Co., 1/28/20 — A Ukiah resident was killed this morning in a car crash on SR-20, and another driver suffered moderate injuries. Joseph Denson, 32 of Ukiah, died this morning, after he apparently lost control of his car and struck another vehicle, at the junction of Road A and the 20, a couple miles east of U.S. Route 101. Denson was the healthcare facilities director at Adventist Health and a former U.S. marine.
At around 7:45 a.m. Denson was driving his 2014 Mercedes C250 east on the 20 when for an unknown reason “the wheels of the Mercedes lost traction,” according to the California Highway Patrol’s report. At the same moment Christian Hunt, 48 of Lakeport, was entering the westbound lanes of the 20, coming from Road A. Denson’s vehicle struck Hunt’s and he sustained injuries resulting in his death. Hunt was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with moderate injuries.
According to the California Highway Patrol neither alcohol nor drugs appear to have been a factor in the crash. The roadway was blocked for some time, and an air ambulance was called to the scene.
Here is the press release from the CHP concerning this incident:
On 01-28-20, at approximately 0745 hrs., a red Mercedes driven by J. Denson was traveling in the E/B lane of SR-20, approaching Road A, at approximately 55 MPH. At the same time, a gray Jeep driven by C. Hunt was traveling in the W/B of SR-20 at Road A, at approximately 55 MPH.
For an unknown reason, the wheels of the Mercedes lost traction on the roadway surface. The Mercedes began rotating in a counter-clockwise direction and entered the W/B lane, directly in the path of the Jeep. Hunt attempted to brake and steer the Jeep to the right but was unable to avoid a collision with the Mercedes. The front end of the Jeep collided with the right side of the Mercedes, resulting in fatal injuries to Denson.
The Mercedes came to rest, on its’ wheels, partially blocking the E/B and W/B lanes of SR-20, facing in an easterly direction. The Jeep came to rest on its’ wheels on the north shoulder of SR-20, facing in a westerly direction.
The cause of the collision is currently under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, however, drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor at this time. The roadway was re-opened at 0943 hrs. Agencies responding to the collision include the California Highway Patrol, Mendocino County Sheriffs’ Office, Medstar Ambulance, Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department and Caltrans.CHP