COARSEGOLD – A major accident on Highway 41 just north of Yosemite Springs Parkway has resulted in the death of one person, and major injuries to four others.
At 10:14 p.m. on Monday, July 22, a call came in from Sierra Ambulance personnel of a three car accident on Highway 41.
Ed Guzman, general manager at Sierra Ambulance, said his paramedics were just returning from a hospital in the valley, and were northbound on Highway 41, when they witnessed the driver of the white pickup driving erratically, and called it in to the CHP as a possibly impaired driver.
They reported that the white 1999 Chevy Silverado pickup, driven by Larry Green, 44, of Fresno, then drove out of sight at a high rate of speed, and literally moments later, the ambulance crew came upon an accident involving the Chevy.
According to the CHP, the pickup had crossed over the solid double yellow lines, due to the driver’s high level of intoxication, and directly into the path of a 2004 Kia Optima, driven by Alicia De Martinez, 55, who was southbound with two passengers, Francisca Ramirez, 49, and Maria Barcenas, 57. All three women were from Madera.
After crashing head-on into De Martinez’s vehicle, Green then crashed his truck off the right side of the road, where it caught fire, leaving the Kia wrecked in the southbound lane.
The debris from the crash was propelled north, striking a southbound 2007 Honda Fit, driven by Mirian Quintanar, 25, of Farmersville.
Reo Saldivar, 31, of Fresno, was right behind the Honda in a 2003 Nissan Altima, and seeing the collision taking place in front of him, veered to the right and overturned down an embankment on the west side of the highway. Saldivar was wearing his seatbelt, and didn’t hit anything during the crash, so was uninjured and declined any medical care.
Larry Green, the driver of the pickup, sustained major injuries and was transported by Sierra Ambulance to the Minarets High School where SkyLife flew him to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
“Our people were right on top of the call, so Green was transported before the CHP arrived at the scene,” said Guzman. “When someone is critical, we can’t wait.”
The driver of the Kia, Alicia De Martinez, was trapped for about 45 minutes while firefighters worked to cut her out of her car. She was flown to CRMC where she passed away.
The two passengers in the Kia also sustained major injuries and were transported by ground ambulance to CRMC.
Highway 41 was closed for over two hours while emergency personnel worked to help the injured.
Green was placed under arrest at the hospital for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated and DUI.
(be sure to click to enlarge this photo so you can read the sign)