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3 injured after big rig, 2 cars collide in front of Lakeville Highway bar

A driver turned into the path of an oncoming big rig on Lakeville Highway early Tuesday afternoon, causing a three-vehicle crash and injuries to three people, authorities said.

The rig driver lost control trying to avoid the car and the 60-foot-long tractor-trailer rig ran off the highway where it traveled into a field and flattened a dilapidated barn.

The collision occurred about 12:45 p.m., across from Ernie’s Tin Bar at Lakeville Highway and Stage Gulch Road, CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins said in a news release.

Driver Karim Ozlati, 86, of Sonoma had started a left turn from Stage Gulch Road onto the highway but stopped mid-turn when he saw the northbound rig, Hawkins said. The rig driver swerved but couldn’t avoid Ozlati’s Toyota Camry. The rig then hit a southbound Acura RSX before smashing through the barn.

“The old fallen-down barn across the street. Now there is a big rig on top of it,” said Ernie Altenreuther, owner of Ernie’s Tin Bar, who saw the crash.

Lakeville volunteer firefighters cut two people free from one of the sedans, said Nick Silva, battalion chief for North Bay Fire.

Three people were taken to Memorial Hospital, Hawkins said in an email. Ozlati appeared to have serious injuries, Acura driver Muhammad Ali, 27, of American Canyon, had minor injuries. Ozlati’s wife, 82-year-old Nezhati Ozlati of Sonoma, was sitting in the passenger seat of the Toyota Camry and was also transported. The extent of the injuries were unconfirmed Tuesday night, Hawkins said in the news release, but all three people are expected to survive.

Rig driver Reynaldo Mendez-Avalos, 56, of Napa wasn’t injured.

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