COARSEGOLD – A single-vehicle crash on Highway 41 this evening closed the southbound lane for over an hour and sent one man to jail for DUI.
Just before 7 p.m., a CHP officer was southbound about two miles north of Yosemite Springs Parkway when he observed a northbound Volvo traveling at a high rate of speed.
The officer u-turned and began attempting to overtake the Volvo, driven by Mark Gray, 55, of Fresno. When Gray saw the CHP, he turned around and headed south. The officer followed suit and turned on his lights to initiate a traffic stop.
Gray then reportedly took off at speeds up to 100 mph, traveling a short distance before losing control and crashing into some rocks in the embankment on the west side of the road. The car spun around and came to rest blocking the southbound lane just north of Aaron’s Mini Storage, scattering debris across the roadway.
The driver exited the wrecked vehicle but refused to comply with the officer’s commands when he was told that he was being placed under arrest. He was finally taken down in the grass next to the road and placed in the patrol vehicle.
Gray was checked out by Sierra Ambulance personnel, but was not injured in the crash, according to CHP. He was placed under arrest for DUI, recklessly evading a peace officer, and interfering with an officer. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.
The roadway was cleared by about 8:15 p.m.
The crash remains under investigation.