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Witnesses Blame High Speed, Bad Passing For 6-Vehicle Crash On Deadwood

OAKHURST – An accident involving six vehicles snarled traffic on Deadwood this morning for about two hours.

At 9:45 a.m., CHP responded to reports of a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 41 between Road 420 and Road 425C south of Oakhurst.

According to witness accounts and CHP, everyone was driving at speeds safe for the condition of the wet road.

However as Phillip Farren, 62, of Coarsegold approached the top of Deadwood northbound where the double lanes merge into one, a southbound Ford F150 began passing in the right lane as that traffic opens into two lanes.

The driver of the F150 has been identified by CHP as Louis Schwartz, 69, of Mariposa.

Farren says the F150 pulled into the right lane at speeds he estimated at 70 mph, and began passing a Chevy Blazer, which was driven by a 64-year-old Coarsegold man.

However, says Farren, there was a tractor-trailer rig not too far ahead in the southbound right lane, and as the F150 attempted to move back into the left lane to go around the big rig, it clipped the Blazer and began spinning out.

The F150 crossed the double yellow lines and crashed into Farren’s F250, then hit a Nissan Versa driven by a 60-year-old woman out of Coarsegold, and a Honda Pilot driven by a 48-year-old Oakhurst woman, all northbound.

The debris from the crash flew all over the roadway, causing damage to a Ford F350 dually driven by a 78-year-old Coarsegold man.

The wreck blocked the #2 lanes both northbound and southbound, and three tow trucks had to be called out for the Ford F150, the F250 and the Nissan. The owner of the Nissan was not injured but says it was a very bad day because she had just paid off her car.

Other than minor scrapes and bruises, everyone walked away uninjured and no one was transported for medical treatment.

The roadway remained open, though there was considerable backup as drivers negotiated their way through the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online