'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek wrecks pickup in North County

This article originally appeared in The Tribune on Jan. 31, 2004.

"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek was uninjured Friday after he fell asleep at the wheel of his pickup and the vehicle sailed off Nacimiento Lake Road, through several mailboxes and into a utility pole, the CHP said.

At the time of the accident, Trebek was driving east on the rural road, east of Adelaida Road but west of Paso Robles. Around 5 p.m., the CHP reported, his white 1991 truck drifted toward the road's right edge, sideswiped a group of mailboxes and crossed a driveway. It went airborne for about 40 feet before landing in a wide culvert and coming to rest against the pole.

The 63-year-old is an owner of Creston Farms horse ranch just north of Creston, according to his biography on the official "Jeopardy" Web site, www.jeopardy.com.

He led a group of partners that once owned Creston Vineyards, which was sold in 2001.

Trebek's wife, Jean, declined comment when reached at their Studio City home Friday night. "Jeopardy" publicists could not be reached by phone.

CHP Officer Scott Koolman, who investigated the accident, said he did not recognize the game-show host until he looked at Trebek's driver's license, which listed his Studio City address.

Koolman said Trebek was "coherent, friendly and nice — not a problem at all."

"He was asked all the normal questions anybody would be asked: why and where and how, and had he been drinking, " Koolman said. "And he didn't show signs of any of that. I think he was just tired."

Trebek, 63, was not cited. The right front fender of his truck was damaged, Koolman said, and he made several cell phone calls before finding a ride with a friend.

Koolman did not know where Trebek was headed. A ranch hand had been following Trebek on the road when the accident occurred, the officer said.