NORTH FORK — A single-vehicle crash south of North Fork this evening sent the driver to the hospital with major injuries.
At about 6:20 p.m., a couple in the 59000 block of Road 225 heard a crash and the sound of a horn blaring up on the road near their house.
They rushed up to the roadway and located a car about 40 feet down the steep embankment on the west side of the road. The lights were on and the wipers were swishing back and forth. They called 911.
When firefighters and Sierra Ambulance personnel arrived, they found a 39-year-old female driver pinned inside the vehicle. They were able to extract her without using the Jaws of Life, and she was carried up the steep embankment and transported to Community Regional Medical Center with what were described as major injuries.
The lack of skid marks on the roadway at the scene seem to indicate that she did not attempt to brake or take any corrective action, but apparently drove the 2011 BMW straight off the road where she smashed into an oak tree before the vehicle came to rest in the dense vegetation.
According to CHP at the scene, there was a heavy smell of alcohol on the driver, Nikki Thurtle, of North Fork. She reportedly also displayed signs of intoxication, and was placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI and released into the custody of the hospital for treatment.