NORTH FORK — An accident in Teaford Meadow Lakes this afternoon sent a UPS driver to the hospital via air ambulance.
At about 2:30 p.m., a longtime UPS driver was on his regular route through Teaford, and as he was backing down a steep, narrow driveway on Toku Poyah, his left rear tire went off the pavement. Not far, but just enough to cause a problem.
With the soft grass on one side, a carpet of slippery pine needles on the other, and a satellite dish planted in the ground directly behind him, he was unable to pull forward up the steep hill.
An 82-year-old resident and his wife brought their Jeep down and offered their assistance to pull him out of his predicament. They hooked a chain to the back of the Jeep and the front of the large UPS truck, and succeeded in getting it back onto the roadway.
The man backed the Jeep up a bit to create some slack, while his wife unhooked the chain from the Jeep, and Anthony Camarena, the 58-year-old driver, began removing the chain from the front of his truck.
At some point, the Jeep owner told CHP, the knob on the gear shift came off. It is not clear how that contributed to what happened next, but the Jeep rolled backwards and pinned Camarena between the back of the Jeep and the grill of the UPS truck.
The driver of the Jeep was able to get the knob back on and pull forward, but by that time Camarena had been injured. He was conscious, but suffering pain in his head, chest, shoulders and legs.
Cal Fire Engines 4254 and 4255 responded along with Sierra Ambulance, and Camarena was transported to the Bass Lake Cal Fire Station about two miles away, where a SkyLife helicopter set down and airlifted him to Community Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries.
A UPS supervisor and a driver were in the Indian Lakes area of Coarsegold when they got word of the accident, and hurried to the scene to check on their driver and make arrangements for his truck.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.