MADERA COUNTY – Three separate accidents on Highway 41 caused traffic backups and kept first responders busy this afternoon.
The first call came in at 1:30 p.m. that a car had crashed into a tree just north of the Cedar Valley turnoff. Squad 18 from Cedar Valley Volunteer Fire Department was first on the scene.
Cindy Sambueso, 52, of Fresno, was southbound in a 2000 Honda Accord, when for unknown reasons, she crossed the northbound lane and smashed into a tree. It appeared that the tree was the only thing that kept her from careening down the steep hill.
Sierra Ambulance personnel tended to her injuries, and after visiting with the CHP, she was placed under arrest for DUI.
It is not clear at this time if the driver was suspected to have been impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs. She was transported to an area hospital to have her injuries assessed.
At about 3 p.m. an incident south of Oakhurst at Highway 41 and Road 425C clogged up traffic at the bottom of Deadwood for about 45 minutes.
A man from Oakhurst was southbound on Highway 41, and was preparing to turn left onto Cavin Lane where the passing lanes end.
He said he was concerned about all the traffic behind him, so instead of slowing down and making a ninety-degree turn onto Cavin, he angled his 2002 Chevy Trailblazer across the northbound lane, apparently to avoid being rear-ended.
Meanwhile, a Coarsegold resident in a 2004 Lincoln LS who had been pulled in at the bank of mailboxes just a few feet south of Cavin Road, pulled out onto the highway headed north. The two cars collided in the northbound lane, and the passenger in the Lincoln suffered minor injures.
Just a short time later, there was another accident reported just south of this location at Serpa Canyon Road. No details are available at this time.