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August 9, 2022

Man killed in double rollover crash on Riverside Drive

WATSONVILLE—A Marina man was killed in a head-on collision on Riverside Drive at Harvest Drive Monday morning.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Ivey said that the drivers of a dump truck and a red Toyota Tacoma pickup engaged in some form of road rage dispute as they turned from Main Street onto westbound Riverside Drive just before 7am.

At one point the two trucks collided, near Harvest Drive, forcing both vehicles to roll over. The dump truck was towing a 30-foot flatbed trailer that disengaged during the crash and flipped end over end into the eastbound lane. It smashed across the top of an eastbound Chevy Malibu, killing the male driver. He was later identified by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office as James Alton Bussie, 59.

The male driver of the dump truck suffered minor injuries, Ivey said, while the Toyota driver suffered minor cuts to his hands. 

Riverside Drive between Harvest Drive and Locust Street was then closed to allow for the investigation to unfold.

The morning commute quickly backed up on surrounding streets, causing major logjams on Walker, Rodriguez, Main and West Beach streets as well as West Lake Avenue.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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