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Man dies from injuries in Old Town Auburn restaurant crash

SUV moved into Tio Pepe dining area, striking three diners
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A 53-year-old Auburn-area man has died from injuries suffered Monday after an SUV plowed into an outdoor dining area at an Old Town restaurant.

The man, who police declined to identify, died Tuesday in hospital, Auburn Police Lt. Victor Pecoraro said Thursday.

A statement issued by Auburn Police on Thursday said the driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle.

The victim’s wife, also in her 50s, and a man visiting from Minnesota, were at the same table outside Tio Pepe Mexican Restaurant on Washington Street in Old Town Auburn when an SUV continued from the business’ parking lot into the dining area. The SUV plowed into their table and ended up pinning the man underneath.

The crash took place just before 3 p.m. and all three were taken to hospital. The man’s wife and the Minnesota visitor were discharged later in the day after being treated.

The 53-year-old from Auburn was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Pecoraro said.

Police are continuing to investigate the crash and are not releasing names of the SUV driver or any of the crash victims until the investigation has more definitive answers on the cause, he said.

The female SUV driver, described by police as between 65 and 75, sat outside a nearby restaurant after the crash appearing stricken by the incident and holding a small dog. Police said she has links to the Bay and Auburn areas. She has not been arrested or has not been cited as a result of the crash.

Rescuers had to use wood blocks and a hydraulic jack to lift the SUV off the man to free him after the crash.