COARSEGOLD – At 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, a head-on collision blocked Highway 41 for about 90 minutes.
Traffic was backed up in both directions as first responders readied the injured for transport, and then worked to manage the heavy weekend traffic.
Sean Heath, 19, of Oakhurst was northbound in a 2006 Nissan Altima, just north of Yosemite Springs Parkway. He was in the left lane of a stretch of passing lanes just north of Aaron’s Mini Storage.
Michael Willis, 57, of Madera was southbound in a 2006 Dodge Dakota.
Heath said he removed his seatbelt to adjust his shirt which, he told CHP, was causing him discomfort at the time.
While adjusting his shirt, he allowed his vehicle to cross over the solid double yellow lines and into the southbound lane, directly into the path of Mr. Willis.
Willis was unable to avoid a collision and the two vehicles crashed head-on.
Madera County Engines 8 and 10 were first on scene, and after EMS arrived, the firefighters began to manage one-way alternating traffic until the scene could be cleared.
Sierra Ambulance transported both parties to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with what were described as moderate injuries.
The CHP is investigating.