(YCPD & NCSO joint release) – Wednesday evening shortly after 5:00pm, the Nevada County Regional Dispatch Center received a call from the Gridley Police Department advising a male subject called 911 after finding a vehicle that appeared to have crashed in the area of Highway 20 and Poker Flats Road. The phone connection with the caller dropped prior to obtaining further information or transferring to Nevada County.
The California Highway Patrol responded as well as units from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. Once units arrived on scene, the male subject that dialed 911 was able to point out a vehicle down the embankment. The vehicle was not visible from the highway as it was significantly covered by brush. Upon further investigation, skid marks were visible in the dirt of the highway shoulder.
Once first responders made their way down to the vehicle, they observed a male and female outside of the vehicle. Both parties were deceased.
Due to the nature of injuries, the male can only be tentatively identified as 36-year-old Juan Almanza Zavala. The female was confirmed to be 29-year-old Janette Pantoja.
The California Highway Patrol is conducting a vehicle accident investigation.