NORTH FORK – A single vehicle crash resulted in major injuries today when a car went off the roadway just north of Putney Place on Road 274.
Cara Duke, 24, of North Fork was southbound on Road 274 at about 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. in a 2012 Mazda 3, when she reportedly lost control of her car, crossed both lanes and went down the embankment on the east side, smashing into several oak trees.
Kyle Farmer heard the crash from his home, and called 911 as he ran out to the scene. After checking on the driver, Farmer called back and told dispatchers that the woman was pinned in the vehicle and was drifting in and out of consciousness.
Witnesses say the woman was driving erratically just before the crash, which they witnessed in their rear view mirror. The impact was so severe, the rear driver’s side door was completely torn off the vehicle.
Battalion Chief Mark Smith and SNF Engine 51 were both at the Bass Lake Ranger Station in North Fork, and responded to the scene, along with Station 11 volunteers in Madera County Engine 4, and Cal Fire Engine 4255.
Firefighters worked for over 30 minutes with the Jaws of Life to extract the driver from the badly damaged car, as SkyLife air ambulance circled overhead and then landed at the North Fork School.
Sierra Ambulance treated the injured driver at the scene, and transported her to the school where she was transferred to the waiting helicopter and flown to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries.
Traffic control was put in place on Road 274 for about an hour as emergency personnel lined the northbound lane.
Duke was arrested for suspicion of DUI and released to the hospital for treatment, according to CHP.
This investigation is ongoing.