MADERA COUNTY – The first heavy rainfall of the season contributed to slick roads, leading to multiple accidents in the mountain area yesterday.
At 1:49 p.m. Olin Wilson, 78, of Mariposa, was southbound on Highway 49 near Knickerbocker Road just north of Ahwahnee, when his Toyota Camry skidded on the hail-covered road and overturned down an embankment, according to CHP.
Pamela Luce, 54, of New York, saw the steam coming up from Wilson’s vehicle, and pulled her 2014 GMC Terrain over to the shoulder of the road to offer assistance.
Minutes later, Lina Moberly, 42, of Ahwahnee, came around the corner and skidded into Luce’s vehicle.
Five of the people involved the accident suffered minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals, three to St. Agnes, and two to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC). The highway was closed for nearly an hour as the scene was cleared.
Later in the day, a single vehicle crash on Highway 49 at Harmony Lane caused a bit of a traffic snarl during rush hour.
Just before 5 p.m. a 2003 Toyota Tundra pickup driven by Darlene Norman, 63, of Mariposa, lost control on the slick road, drifted off the shoulder and up an embankment, causing the truck to flip over, according to CHP.
The highway was not blocked by the accident, and no other vehicles were involved, however a witness at the scene said that a car headed northbound came around the corner just south of the crash and ran into a vehicle that had slowed for emergency equipment.
Mercy Ambulance responded from Mariposa, along with Cal Fire, as all four Sierra Ambulance units were on other calls. Mercy transported two patients to CMRC with moderate injuries.
Meanwhile, a third accident involving slick roads took place on Road 223 at Thornberry (Road 420) when Patricia Frith-Smith, 50, of Wishon, spun out and rolled her 1999 Izuzu, sliding down the embankment and hitting a tree.
The driver was not injured in the crash.