Every year since 2002, luxury lifestyle publication Robb Report brings both automakers and enthusiasts together for its annual Car of the Year event. According to the Napa Valley Register, two publication staffers were seriously injured during this year’s event, after a vehicle in which the pair was traveling was involved in a head-on collision.
Reports claim that around 1 p.m. on Sunday, a vehicle that police described as a “2018 Ford” was traveling on Highway 128 (about 20 miles north of the event) when the vehicle “crossed the center line for unknown reasons” and struck a Honda. Police report all vehicle occupants—three in the Ford and two in the Honda—sustained major injuries as a result of the accident, with at least one being serious enough to require medevac via helicopter, as the CHP Facebook post below shows.
** Hwy 128 Major Injury Collision**
At approximately 12:55 p.m., CHP H-32 responded with Napa County Fire, Cal Fire, AMR Napa County, REACH Air Medical Services and Saint Helena Fire to a report of a head on collision on Hwy 128 near Chiles Pope Valley Road.
Upon the arrival of the first firefighters at the scene a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) was declared.
CHP H-32 and REACH landed near the scene at an established landing zone. REACH transported one patient to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as CHP H-32 transported another to the Queen of the Valley Hospital. AMR transported the rest of the patients to various Napa County Hospitals.
The Napa CHP Office is the investigating agency. Footage by CHP Air-37 who was overhead assisting Napa CHP.
According to reports, Cristina Cheever, Robb Report’s senior vice president of live media and former publicist for Porsche, was driving a “2018 Ford” while Darin Greenblatt, a fellow staffer, and participant Ashley Chung were passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Robb Report notes that Chung was invited to judge the 2018 Car of the Year event after having been previously invited to judge the Car of the Year Event in 2016. The particular model of Ford was not specified.
In a separate incident, Instagram user Frederick Bayles posted a photo of a Ferrari 812 Superfast that had collided with a tree at a vineyard in Napa Valley. The Ferrari sported a black license plate with the Robb Report logo on it, which confirms that the vehicle was part of the yearly event. However, no injuries have been reported as a result of the Ferrari’s crash and more details haven’t been divulged.
During the Car of the Year events, which are held on both the east and west coasts, editors from Robb Report select 13 of the best sports and luxury vehicles to be judged by a group of readers which it calls the “steering committee.” The attendees grade each vehicle (from “A” through “F”) and ultimately assemble a scorecard which will pit each car against the next for a ranking amongst its peers.
The Drive reached out California Highway Patrol and Robb Report for clarification, but have not yet received a return comment.