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Yolo County

Drive far enough north in California, and you'll eventually come across Yolo County, which has nothing to do with popular "YOLO" (you only live once) phrase. This bustling county is teaming with activity and boasts a population of 200,849 people total. The county sits within the Sacramento Valley and its county seat is Woodland, although the largest city in the county is actually Davis.

Though the county's population is large, quite a bit of Yolo County is devoted to agriculture and is quite rural. California's tomato industry contributes about 90 percent of the processed and canned tomatoes in the United States and 35 percent of worldwide processed and canned tomatoes. Many of these tomatoes are grown in Yolo Valley.

Yolo County was formed in 1850in 1850 at the time when California was brought into the Union, but back then, it was actually spelled Yola. The county now contains four cities: Woodland, Davis, Winters, and West Sacramento. There are also a number of towns and unincorporated communities such as the towns of Clarksburg, Esparto, Guinda, and Madison and unincorporated communities such as Brooks, Capay, Plainfield, and Yolo.

Students looking to pursue higher education have two options if they plan to study in Yolo County. They can attend the University of California at Davis or Woodland Community Colleges.

A number of major interstates and highways run through this lush county. Interstates 5, 80, and 505 come through the county, and State Roads 15, 45, 84, 113, and 128 cross this expansive county, which stretches for 1,024 square miles. Because the county is mostly rural, there are also many county roads that use a numbering system. The system works as such:

  • Roads going north and south are numbered 41 through 117 and they continue to increase from west to east.

  • Roads going east and west are numbered between 1 and 38A and from 151 to 161. They also continue to increase going from north to south.

Additionally, there are several options for transportation, including buses from Yolo County to Sacramento and Sacramento International Airport. Davis also has its own shuttle buses and city buses to accommodate students at the University. There are also several airports in Yolo County.

Though much of Yolo County may be rural, it does not mean that car accidents cannot happen. On Sept. 3, 2015, a car accident in Winters turned deadly. A driver in a Ford on Country Road 31 was going south at 8:30 p.m. The driver then decided to try and pass another vehicle on the road, but instead, the Ford driver hit a Toyota head on. The Toyota was going in the opposite direction.

The crash sent the Ford off the road where it caught fire. The driver sadly passed away. The Toyota driver survived, but sustained major injuries. He was taken to the hospital.

Just days before this incident, another terrible crash happened in Yolo County, this one involving alcohol. On Aug. 30, 2015, a driver was going west on County Road 25A, which is close to County Road 99. This is a very rural area in Yolo County, and thankfully at the time of the crash, no other cars were involved. The driver lost all control the vehicle and ended up crashing right into a tree. After the impact, the car caught fire, and the driver did not have time to escape. He sadly passed away. According to authorities investigating this incident, alcohol was believed to be involved.

Though county roads may seem safer because there is usually less traffic on them, they still pose the same threats as any other road. Drivers are encouraged to be just as cautious when driving through rural Yolo County.