Several witnesses told CHP that the driver of the Honda sedan was driving in a reckless manner and passing them at a high rate of speed just before the crash, which happened at about 9:20 p.m.
A Parlier man was behind the wheel of the northbound Honda when he apparently hit the embankment on the right side of the road and rolled his car, which came to rest on its roof.
The smell of alcohol was pervasive, even from the far side of the road, and there were a number of empty containers in the vehicle. The driver claimed he hadn’t had anything to drink since yesterday, and was reportedly combative with officers.
After being evaluated by Sierra Ambulance personnel, the man performed poorly during a field sobriety test, and then refused a breathalyzer. He was taken into custody for DUI, and transported down the mountain for a blood test. He suffered only minor injuries.
Cal Fire Engine 4295 responded to the scene, along with Madera County Fire Engine 10 and Squad 10, and Engine 8.
Highway 41 was closed in both directions for about 30 minutes, and shut down again when the tow truck arrived. The scene was cleared just before 10:30 p.m.