Tragic Crash on Forest Mountain Summit

On Saturday, June 3, 2023, CHP Officers responded to a two-vehicle crash which resulted in two fatalities and four injured parties.

On June 3, 2023, at approximately 9:25 pm, Phil Placzek was traveling southbound on SR-3 south of Forest Mountain Summit in a Ford F-250 pickup. Erika Cavener-Hansen was traveling northbound on SR-3 in a Honda Pilot approaching from the opposite direction, during hours of darkness. As Phil Placzek traveled southbound, downhill, through a sweeping curve in the roadway, they allowed the Ford to drift to the right, where the Ford’s right side tires traveled off the paved roadway onto the dirt/gravel shoulder. Phil steered the Ford sharply back to the left and lost control. The Ford spun out of control, across the roadway centerline and entered the northbound lane where the front of the Honda collided with the right side of the Ford. Phil Placzek and passenger Stephanie Johnson both sustained fatal injuries and were declared deceased at the scene.

Erika Cavener-Hansen and  4 of her children were in a terrible car accident that resulted in Erika and three of her boys; Bentley, Brooks, and Blayne being put in critical condition. Thankfully the youngest Brenna (2) sustained only minor injuries and has been released. Erika remains at Fairchild in critical condition where she has underwent her first surgery to repair compound Fractures though she has many more broken bones as well as severed Tendons. Bentley (11) Brooks (8) and Blayne (6) were life flighted to UC Davis and have underwent surgery. Bentley has had 3 surgeries and It is uncertain of how many surgeries will be needed in the future for all them. Though they all remain in critical condition they are stable. There is still uncertainty and prayers are very much appreciated.This investigation is ongoing if anyone has any further information, please contact the Yreka Area CHP at 530-842-0530.

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