AHWAHNEE – A tragic accident on Highway 49 has taken the life of a 76-year-old Coarsegold woman.
Mary Beth Raab was pronounced deceased at the scene after a head-on collision just north of the entrance to Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park.
Roads were slick and it was raining on Thursday, Mar. 7, at 10:37 a.m. as Raab was driving southbound on Highway 49 in a 2004 Honda CRV.
According to the CHP, the driver did not slow to the advised 25 mph speed at a sharp right-hard curve just south of Hilltop Drive, crossed over the double yellow lines and into the northbound lane.
A 1992 International 4600 Garbage Bin Transporter truck, owned by Total Waste Systems of Mariposa, and driven by Anthony Lopez, 25, of Mariposa, was northbound at the curve. He was unable to avoid the Honda, and the two vehicles collided in the northbound lane, says CHP Office Kramer.
The driver of the Honda suffered fatal injuries, and died at the scene.
Norma Taylor, 78, also of Coarsegold, was a passenger in the Honda. She sustained minor injuries and was transported by Sierra Ambulance to Community Regional Medical Center.
Lopez, the driver of the truck, sustained minor injuries and declined medical aid at the scene.
CHP, Cal Fire, EMS and the Madera County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and the road was closed in both directions for about 90 minutes while first responders worked to assist and transport those involved in the crash, and clear the vehicles.
This corner is no stranger to tragedy. Just off the east side of the road is a very well maintained monument to Ian Raymond Lewis, who died at this same spot in a motorcycle accident in July 2008. Just around the corner is another collection of flowers, apparently commemorating yet another tragedy.