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Collision at I-680 interchange claims life of two Martizians

MARTINEZ, Calif. – A single vehicle collision near a tricky intersection in Martinez has taken the life of two local residents.

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), at about 9:57 a.m. last Friday, Dec. 30, emergency personnel responded to a report of a vehicle having collided with a concrete divider. The collision took place near the intersection of Highway 4 and I-680 southbound.

Emergency personnel found the vehicle occupied by the driver, Jerry Erben, 79, of Martinez, and his wife Paula, 74. Both sustained major life threatening injuries during the collision, and both were transported to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek. Paula succumbed to her injuries that day, with Jerry ultimately succumbing to his injuries on Jan. 1.

CHP officials believe that, for unknown reasons, the driver overshot the I-680 ramp and drove his Chrysler sedan off the roadway, down a dirt embankment, continuing to travel until the vehicle collided with the concrete divider.

Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision, and the incident is still under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or events leading up to it is asked to contact CHP at (925) 646-4980.

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