Just before 3 p.m. today, Ross Kelly, 72, was northbound on Highway 41 in a 2007 Ford F350 approaching the traffic signal at Road 200.
According to CHP at the scene, Kelly told officers he thought this was the turnoff to Yosemite Springs Parkway. There is no road to the left of the highway at this intersection, however, Kelly turned directly into the path of southbound traffic.
A GMC Yukon, driven by a 22-year-old man from Fresno, was southbound in the #1 lane, and hit the right rear quarter panel of the F350. A Chrysler Crossfire convertible, occupied by a couple from Cambria, was in the #2 lane, and hit the pickup head-on. Both southbound vehicles were traveling at a stated speed of about 55 mph.
Oakhurst and Madera CHP, Madera County Sheriff, Cal Fire, Madera County Fire, Cal Trans, Sierra Ambulance and American Ambulance all responded to the scene, including two mountain area CHP officers returning from Special Response Training in Fresno.
Both occupants of the Crossfire suffered major injuries. The 64-year-old male driver was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, and his 59-year-old female passenger was transported by ground ambulance, also to CRMC.
The driver of the Yukon was reportedly uninjured, as was Mr. Kelly, who was determined to be under the influence of alcohol. He was placed under arrest for felony DUI causing injury, and transported to the Madera County Jail. His bond has been set at $50,000.
One-lane traffic control was put in place at about 3:40, and the roadway was clear by 4 p.m.
(Photo credit Gina Clugston)