NORTH FORK – A head-on collision just west of Bass Fork Minit Mart has claimed the lives of both drivers.
At about 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 10, emergency responders were dispatched to a scene on Road 200 near Road 221 about four miles west of North Fork.
A witness told CHP that she was eastbound, coming up Walker Grade when a man driving an older Buick Century pulled out of a driveway and almost T-boned her. Laura Rodriguez says the man then got into the lane behind her and was driving erratically at speeds she estimated to be over 70 mph.
Rodriguez said she was about to call 911 to report the driver, when they both rounded the corner between Leisure Acres and Bass Fork, and the Buick went across the center line and smashed head-on into another car.
That vehicle was a 2007 Toyota Corolla. The front of the Toyota was demolished, the car was shoved up the bank on the north side of the road, and the engine caught fire. Someone with a fire extinguisher stopped and doused the flames, said another witness.
The driver of the Buick was reportedly deceased when first responders arrived at the scene, as was the pit bull who was riding in the car with him.
Rodriguez stopped, called 911, and went to help the injured woman, who had a faint pulse.
A SkyLife air ambulance set down in a wide spot next to the road, and firefighters from North Fork’s Station 11 set up the jaws of life and emergency responders set about freeing the driver from the car.
Though paramedics worked to save her, the woman succumbed to her injuries and died at the scene.
Road 200 was closed in both directions for over two hours as the victims were attended to and the investigation conducted.
The names of both victims are being withheld to ensure proper notification of the families.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.