OAKHURST – Traffic was slowed to one lane for nearly 90 minutes this afternoon as a single vehicle accident was cleared from Highway 41 just north of the Cedar Valley turnoff.
Just after 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, an Ahwahnee man was headed south on Highway 41 in a contractor’s pickup when he says he came around a corner and found traffic stopped ahead of him, blocking the road.
The driver told CHP that someone was attempting to turn around in the roadway on a blind corner, and that the vehicle ahead of him had stopped to avoid hitting the car that was across the roadway.
The man said he slammed on the brakes, veered to the right and went up the embankment. Apparently, the pickup teetered for a moment, and the driver was hoping it would not roll, but, very slowly, the pickup tipped onto the driver’s side where it came to rest, blocking the southbound lane.
Another motorist stopped and began trying to stop traffic to avoid yet another collision. The driver of the pickup was able to get out on his own, and did not suffer any injuries.
CHP then shoved the truck over to the edge of the road, allowing one-lane traffic to keep moving as the tow truck driver righted the pickup and cleared the large amount of debris that was deposited in the roadway when the truck rolled.
After the pickup was towed about a half-mile down the highway to the turnout at Big Cedar Springs Road, it was disconnected from the tow truck and the driver was able to start it up.
Though the driver’s side door was smashed in and the truck suffered some bangs and dents, after changing out the right rear tire which was leaking air, the owner was able to drive the vehicle away.
The roadway was reopened in both directions just before 6 p.m.