OAKHURST — A three-vehicle crash on Highway 41, followed by a vehicle fire on the north end of town kept firefighters and law enforcement busy in the Oakhurst area this morning.
At 8:46 a.m., reports came in of a multi-vehicle crash on Deadwood just south of Oakhurst. A 63-year-old Coarsegold man was southbound on Highway 41 in a 2001 Toyota pickup, when he allowed his vehicle to drift toward the right shoulder.
According to CHP, he then over-corrected, veering into oncoming traffic, where he collided with a northbound 2007 Dodge Caravan, driven by an 89-year-old woman from Oakhurst.
Directly behind the Caravan was a 2014 Toyota Camry, driven by a 47-year-old Fresno man. That vehicle was also struck by the pickup, causing a three-car crash that reduced Highway 41 to one-lane traffic for about an hour as the scene was investigated and cleared.
The driver of the pickup complained of head, neck and back pain, and was transported by Sierra Ambulance to a Valley hospital. The driver of the Caravan suffered lacerations from broken glass, and the driver of the Camry also had minor injuries. Those two were evaluated by ambulance personnel at the scene, but did not require transport.
Then about 10:30 a.m., callers began reporting a smoke in the area of the Golden Chain Theatre. A full wildland dispatch was called up, including Madera County Fire, Cal Fire, and Sierra National Forest resources. The Sheriff’s Office also responded to keep traffic out of the area.
A vehicle was located, fully engulfed, at the end of Empty Creek Road between El Cid and the old Doc’s Towing facility. Crews kept the fire from spreading into the surrounding vegetation, and had it contained by 11:04 a.m. All resources not already at scene were called off. Mop-up was complete and the fire controlled by 11:24 a.m.