Dutch Flat environmentalist and author Russell Towle has died after being pinned against his own car by another vehicle while stopped along Interstate 80.
The accident occurred just after 4 p.m. Thursday along the eastern end of the Yolo Causeway between West Sacramento and Davis.
Towle, 59, was well-known in Placer County environmental circles for his passion in preserving the North Fork of the American River canyon. An author of a history of Dutch Flat, Towle had lived in the mountain community east of Colfax since 1975.
Terry Davis, conservation director with the Mother Lode chapter of the Sierra Club, described Towle as a low-profile but tireless worker for saving trails and preserving the North Fork.
Towle, who wrote a book about Dutch Flat and kept up a respected blog about his trail experiences, was remembered Tuesday by Auburn State Recreation Area Canyon Keepers founder Jim Ferris as someone with an incredible enthusiasm for the relatively undisturbed North Fork canyon area.
Towle’s father was driving the truck that caused the fatal injury. From his blog’s last post.
For those who didn’t know Russ personally, or who only knew him in one context of his life, his family would like to share a little more about him with readers of this blog.
You already know he was an avid hiker in the Sierra river canyons near our home, and a tireless advocate for the preservation and development of public access to historic trails in the Sierras. Russell was also a brilliant and innovative mathematician, entranced by higher-dimensional forms. He was a computer animator. He was an extremely doting father who enjoyed every single moment of life with his kids. He was a lover of classical Latin literature and Shakespeare, of Tintin comics and Terry Pratchett novels. He was a historian and a writer; a geologist; a linguist; an artist; a builder; a musician with a special love of Brazilian music; a nature lover and photographer. He was a tireless trailblazer, who habitually carried loppers on his hikes, to trim the way and ease the passage of others who would follow.
Russ was self-taught; formal education processes were far too slow for his quick, deep, wide mind.
He accompanied Gambolin’ Man on this adventure.