COARSEGOLD — When CHP officers responded to reports of a single-vehicle rollover just south of Serpa Canyon on Highway 41 last night, they were likely a bit taken aback to encounter a 12-year-old girl behind the wheel.
Just after 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, the Oakhurst juvenile was northbound in her father’s 2004 Toyota Corolla, and was reportedly using her cell phone. Due to her distracted driving, she allowed the vehicle to veer to the right, and then jerked the wheel to the left, causing the car to slide laterally across the southbound lane and roll down the embankment on the west side of the roadway, coming to rest on its roof in a pile of rocks.
The girl was alone in the car, and was amazingly uninjured. She was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash, according to CHP. She did not have permission to have the car, and her father was notified and came to the scene to collect her.
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, according to CHP, and no other vehicles were involved. The Toyota was a total loss.
Highway 41 was reduced to one-lane traffic for about 20 minutes as first responders did their jobs and officers investigated the incident.