Sheldon Bissell, the 77-year-old man who died Monday morning in an accident on Mountain Ranch Road, was well known for his long-time fund raising for money to use as rewards for turning in drunk drivers. Bissell did this because his son, Elliott, then 19, was among three people killed in 1979 when their car was hit by a drunken driver on Highway 49 near Fricot City Road. The drunken driver also died. To be clear, the CHP said there’s no indication that drugs or alcohol were factors in Monday’s accident. The CHP said Bissell pulled out into the road in front of an oncoming pickup.
Anyway, tonight during the Calaveras Unified Board of Trustees meeting I learned more about Bissell’s community service. Calaveras County Supervisor Cliff Edson spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting. Edson said he got a call from Bissell early Monday morning, at the time that turned out to be five minutes before Bissell’s death. Bissell told Edson he’d come to a meeting that night to discuss ways to preserve an after-school program at San Andreas Elementary. Edson said that meant a lot given Bissell’s long history of raising money for worthy causes. Edson saw the ambulances headed up Mountain Ranch Road and then learned later that day that Bissell had died. “Sheldon was a driven person. I’ll miss him,” Edson said.