COARSEGOLD – A day of fishing and drinking came to an abrupt end when said fisherman headed for home and smashed his pickup into a rock outcropping on Highway 41, snarling traffic during the evening commute.
Leonard Cox, 75, of Clovis, had spent the day snagging trout and catfish in one of the private ponds near Indian Lakes.
At about 6 p.m., he got into his white 2004 Ford F150 pickup, and headed south on Highway 41.
Just south of the Black Hawk Lodge near Road 207, he hit the curb on the right side of the road, smashed into a rock outcropping, sheering off the right front wheel, and then spun to a stop in the northbound lane.
Both lanes of Highway 41 were blocked for about 90 minutes, with single lanes opening to let traffic through whenever possible. The northbound lane was backed up clear down toward the 22 Mile House as crews worked to clear the road and Sierra Ambulance personnel examined the driver.
Cox was not hurt in the crash, but after failing a field sobriety test and blowing a .13 on the breathalizer, he was placed under arrest and transported straightaway to Madera Community Hospital where a blood tech was waiting to run one more test.
According to CHP at the scene, the driver was calm and cooperative, telling them he was “just trying to get home.”
A loaded .22 was taken into custody by CHP along with at least one other firearm.
Doc’s Towing sent out a tow truck, but with the front of the truck basically demolished, they had to dispatch a flatbed to haul the pickup away, finally getting it out of the roadway at about 7:50 p.m.
YLP’s Squad 10 and Indian Lakes Engine 8 responded.