Witness to fatal crash on I-5 speaks out, saying it could have been her

A witness to a fatal collision on Interstate 5 in Redding recalls facing the wrong-way driver moments before that driver's car crashed into another vehicle.

"That could have been me. It brought tears to my eyes," Rosie Attebery said about witnessing the crash Sunday in Redding. Attebery was on her way home to Anderson when she came across the wrong-way driver, Grace Elizabeth Ward, who The California Highway Patrol is investigating as a possible suicidal driver.

Attebery said Ward was driving northbound in the southbound lanes. She claimed she had an angel watching over her but was still rattled by her experience.

"All of a sudden I see this car coming and I say, oh my gosh. Then I moved, luckily there was no one next to me so I was able to move over," Attebery said.

But Attebery said time seemed to slow as she was head-on with Ward, and believed this was no accident.

"So as soon as I was moving over, that's when she started to veer towards my direction. My heart started racing and I was panicking. The next thing I know, I look back in my rearview mirror and about five to ten cars behind my house I see a puff of smoke."

That smoke began to fume when Ward's Chevy Impala crashed head-on against a 2012 Honda Accord, driven by 29-year-old Ryan John Folsom from San Antonio, Texas, sending the vehicle into a ditch on the right-hand shoulder of I-5.

Folsom would later succumb to his injuries at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

"It put a whole new outlook on life for me. I can only imagine all these other people that moved for her probably thinking the same thing," Attebery explained.

Having never experienced anything like this, Attebery said she questions Ward's state of mind.

"I question, why was she doing that? Was she on drugs, drunk, medicated, heart-attack, stroke, anything? I was like what was going through her mind. But I'm thankful I'm home, I'm alive," Attebery said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off