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Names Released: Tragedy Strikes on Copco Road, Three Dead, Four Children Injured in Head-On Collision

Devastating head-on collision that occurred on December 29th, 2023 in Siskiyou County, CA, near Montague. cover photo: screen grab from a post made on Yreka News FB page by, Ross Dantas

Yreka, California – A devastating head-on collision on Copco Road east of Salmon Street claimed the lives of three people and left four children injured on Friday, December 29, 2023. The Yreka Area California Highway Patrol (CHP) responded to the scene at approximately 12:24 PM.

According to the preliminary investigation, Robert Hurley Burns Jr., 59, of Coos Bay, Oregon, was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 westbound on Copco Road when he allowed his vehicle to drift across the solid double yellow center lines into the eastbound lane while navigating a sweeping curve. Subsequently, Burns’ Dodge Ram collided head-on with an eastbound Chrysler Pacifica driven by Benjamin Avery Stone, 36, of Montague, California.

Tragically, both drivers, Robert Burns and Benjamin Stone, along with Stone’s wife, Jessica Rose Stone, 35, who was in the front passenger seat, sustained fatal injuries and were declared deceased at the scene.

The four juvenile passengers in the Chrysler Pacifica were transported to Fairchild Medical Center for treatment. Two of the children suffered major injuries, while the other two sustained minor injuries. The identities of the children have not been disclosed. *see gofundme

The Yreka Area CHP is actively investigating the collision and urges anyone with additional information to contact their office at 530-842-0530. The names of the deceased were initially withheld pending notification of their next of kin and were to be released through the Siskiyou County Coroner’s Office.

This heartbreaking incident serves as a somber reminder of the importance of safe driving practices and the need for increased caution on the road, especially during challenging weather conditions or when navigating curves. The community mourns the loss and extends its support to the injured children and the families affected by this tragedy.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office received a public records request from you on January 24, 2024. Your request mentioned:

requesting toxicology report from the retired CHP officer… “unverified”

driver of 2007 dodge ram 1500

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has reviewed your request and has determined that the records requested are exempt from disclosure under public records law for the following reasons:

Gov Code 7923.625(a)(1)-During an active investigation, disclosure of a recording related may be delayed if disclosure would interfere with the investigation.

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