Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Lucerne woman faces arrest for Martinez accident

LUCERNE – A Lake County woman who drove the wrong way on a Bay Area highway and caused a collision is facing arrest.

Wendy Jensen, 34, of Lucerne somehow got onto Highway 4 near Martinez going the wrong way early Sunday morning, said California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Yox of the Contra Costa CHP office.

“We're not certain exactly where she got onto the freeway the wrong way,” said Yox.

Jensen, driving a 1997 Ford Explorer, was heading eastbound in the highway's westbound lane in an area where the highway is separated by a divider, said Yox. “She didn't cross over the freeway, she got on the wrong way.”

Yox said investigators believe that Jensen saw headlights – it was about 4:45 a.m. – and swerved to the right to avoid hitting the vehicle.

She struck the center median guardrail with her Explorer's passenger side, said Yox, and bounced back into the path of a 2005 Dodge Neon driven by Rickey Stratton, 49, of Hayward, hitting him head-on.

Stratton suffered severe injuries – including breaking both legs, suffering multiple facial fractures, punctured lungs, a lacerated kidney and diaphragm, said Yox. Stratton was taken to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where he was reported to be in critical condition.

Jensen also was taken to the hospital, complaining of neck and back pain, said Yox. He said she may have suffered a spinal injury.

A CHP officer who responded to the accident concluded that Jensen was driving under the influence, said Yox. “As soon as she clears the hospital she will be taken into custody.”

The charges, said Yox, will be felony drunk driving and driving the wrong way causing bodily injury.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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